English carriages

England’s lovely Charlecote Park estate, along the banks of the River Avon, has much to entice a visitor, not the least of which is a nice collection of ten carriages used over its history. Carlecotte has been in the Lucy family for 800 years but was handed over to the National Trust in 1946.

I was fortunate enough to tour it during my current tour of England. It was so nice to view these conveyances in which my fictional characters ride.

Vehicles which required a coachman, or driver, were the brougham, the barouche, and the coach (also used as a traveling carriage).

The brougham was a closed carriage used for everyday and could have either one or two passenger seats. Those with two seats were called a double brougham. They could be guided by either one or two horses.

The barouche required two horses and was almost exclusively used in London for daytime social activities, particularly for drives through Hyde Park. Its folding top was usually put down, rather like the convertible of today.Cheryl takes notes about the carriages, including this crested coach, at the collection shown at Carlcotte Park in Warwickshire, England.

The Rolls Royce of conveyances was the coach, like the crested one I am standing beside here. Notice there is no seat for the driver. That is because these were driven by postillions, either two or four. Understandably, these were owned by the very rich.

Phaetons were driven by the owners, with a perch on the back for their groom.  Either one or two horses could be used. Sportsmen were particularly attracted to phaetons.

I highly recommend a visit to Charlecote Park, where demonstrations on Tudor dress and fabrics, one of the country’s only extant private brew houses, and a massive Victorian kitchen with demonstrations all are available for the visitors’ pleasure.

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3 thoughts on “English carriages

  1. That’s so interesting. When I lived in England I visited several places with 18th and 19th coaches and almost all of them had places for the coachmen to sit. I guess it was up to the owner.

  2. That is interesting–I had to go back and look at my own post on John Mytton’s journey from London (when he lost a good deal of money through the window) and there is no driver–just postilions–in the old print.

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