We have seen quite a few 19th century wash-houses and laundry rooms this year, as we enjoyed our hard won right to wander, unrestrained, through England's treasure houses, paying our respects to the stalwart souls who kept life sweet and comfortable for the privileged few.
Victorian servants at Beningborough Hall
Mr N also has ancestors who lived on the moors of North Yorkshire - farmers, stonemasons and thatchers who lived in houses like this one at the Ryedale Folk Museum at Hutton-le-Hole.
The wash-houses here are orderly and well equipped, as be-fits a Yorkshire housewife.
I doubt that the good woman who laboured here had to travel as far as Mr. Turner's establishment in Leeds for her mangle or her washboard...
...and even his lively imagination might not have envisaged the way in which the humble dolly tub is used today - nor how much these desirable planters now cost.
A little-known fact - in the mid 19th century the aspirational middle classes thought having a weekly washday was a sign of poverty and lowliness. The more well off a family was, the more changes of linen its members were supposed to possess and so their laundry was done every 6 weeks or so.
If you would like to try laundering in the old way we are adding a wonderful antique wooden washing bat to our eBay listings this evening, all pale and weathered with ancient initials carved into it.