The carriages in the Eaton Hall collection give visitors a good idea of the range of horsedrawn vehicles one would be likely to have encountered in a country house stable-block a century ago. Many were made by the best London coachbuilders, and others by local firms such as J.A. Lawton & Co. of Liverpool and Chester and Joseph Cockshoot & Co. of Manchester.
The first detailed account of the use of carriages by members of the Grosvenor family refers to a tour in Europe which began in June 1835 and lasted for fourteen months. The party sailed from London to Hamburg, taking with them a Travelling Coach and a Britchka, this being a type of light open carriage with a folding leather top or head, four seats in the carriage body and a rumble seat behind for the servants. For such an extensive tour, post horses would have been hired to draw the carriages with a courier engaged to plan the route and to ride ahead of the carriages in order to make the necessary arrangements for accommodation and the supply of fresh horses.
A new publication showing the Westminster Collection of Carriages is now available for sale at Eaton Open Days. The spectacular photography depicts beautifully restored examples from golden age of the horse and carriage, an era recreated at Eaton Park in 2007 for this very purpose. The carriage brochure is the first of a series of seven brochures, sold separately at £7.00 each or available as a boxed set. For more information please contact us.