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Anchor Maker's House

The Anchor Maker's house used to be one of a pair originally situated alongside Gregory’s Stores in Lawrence Lane, Old Hill.

It was the first house to be reconstructed at the Museum and is a typical example of late Victorian worker’s housing.

Built in 1886 with a washhouse (known locally as the “brew ‘us”) a coalhouse, privy and a workshop in the back yard, it represents the improved standards for working class housing being set towards the end of the nineteenth century.

The interior has been displayed to reflect the home of a fairly prosperous late Victorian anchor maker of 1914. He would have been relatively well off because there was still a strong market for work from the expanding shipbuilding and dock trades.

The ‘oddware’ or chain shop at the back of the dwelling came from a similar house in Claremont Street, Old Hill, built in the 1890s and is a typical Black Country back yard forge - common in the late nineteenth century.

Originally the shop had two identical hearths but it is now set up with a woman's hearth. Many women made chain in backyard workshops such as this and in 1911 32% of chainmakers were women.

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