You can see the stairs leading up from the kitchen. The modern doorway at the top of these stairs was sealed off in Arkwright's time. This is the first floor room of an adjacent cottage, with its own staircase.

We now use this space to tell the story of 1940s and 1950s Bakewell. Arkwright divided this room to make two smaller bedrooms.

The tenements continued to be occupied by various families through to the mid 20thC, but several of the tenements had become unfit for habitation. The Bakewell Urban District Council put a demolition order on the tenements in 1954, and tenders for the demolition of two of the most derelict tenements were sought. Two however were still occupied: The Pitts lived in what is now the Victorian Kitchen, and the Harrisons lived in what was the extension built by Sir John Gell.

A local builder, Charles Bradbury, whose grandmother, Avena Kay, lived in the largest cottage from about 1850 (his mother being born there in 1876) offered to carry out exploratory work in the empty part of the property to see what if anything was hidden under the plaster. He discovered medieval windows, the huge 10ft 6in fireplace in the main room, which had been boarded off and used as a pantry for that tenement, wattle and daub walls and a Tudor cupboard that had at some stage been incorporated into a dividing wall in the Tudor Parlour, probably for use as a food store. He was so enthused by his finds that he set about involving local people in a campaign to save the building.

Bernard Harrison, whose family lived in the front cottage (now offices). Bernard kindly gave the historical society the building in the 1950s.

Tudor Garderobe

The Garderobe was the Tudor family's privy or toilet. The smell of the ammonia was known to keep away clothes moths, so the Tudors also kept their clothes in the privy. The gas wafted up and helped to prevent cloths moths from attacking their precious clothes. It is from this that we get our modern word 'Wardrobe'.

Tudor Garderobe

The Tudor Garderobe was blocked off in Arkwright's time, and it remained undiscovered until the Bakewell and District Historical Society uncovered it almost 200 years later. Fanny Pitt was a descendent of the Victorian Pitts. Her nieces remember sleeping next to the Tudor Garderobe - they knew the wall was hollow, but didn't know what was there.