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Blists Hill open air museum - Accuracy of Reconstruction

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Ben Oates Question 2 In the Blists Hill open air museum I looked at reconstructions of 19th century shops and houses. In this question I am going to see how accurate these reconstructions are. There were many reconstructed buildings at the Blists Hill, one of them was the Doctors house. It did look and old building and was quite small, this is because a hundred years or so ago people were smaller than they are now. You could see from the d�cor of the house that doctors had more money in them days than most other people. This building however was not an original Doctors house, it has been adapted and brought in from a country estate but has been presented as a doctors surgery and waiting room. Although to give it that authentic feel the instruments that a doctor would use are all original as is the kitchen range and furniture, it has just been brought in from other places. It looked the nicest building at Blists Hill and was out of the way. If you compare it to the Squatters cottage there is quite a dramatic difference. In the doctors cottage as you walked in you were in the living room, which also acted as a waiting room, in this room there was a woman in 19th century dress. ...read more.


There was another room that was the master bedroom, well the only bedroom it had a bed that was supposedly a double but is no bigger than a single nowdays. It had bare earth floors although for the poor this was not an abnormality. That was it just three rooms to the house, they were not big at all it was a very small house you could not get nine people living in a house that size, it just does not seem possible. This is why I doubt the reconstruction is accurate. Looking at the cottage from outside there was a thatched roof, a very small door which again shows the size difference in people from then and now. It seemed to be made of sandstone which is not a good material for a house as it is very easily weathered and erodes easily. Inside the perimeter wall, which is very poorly made and at different heights and thickness', is a small pen where animals are kept and an outdoor laboratory. The pen would be kept to home chickens and small animals like that as it is only about 3foot x 3foot. The lavatory is simply a hole in a rock that would have to be emptied, probably daily if nine people lived there. ...read more.


This shows that a reconstruction is good as they went to the other end of the country to keep it looking like a Chemists. Although the only doubt in my mind of the Chemists being an accurate reconstruction is the fact that the Doctor had his own medicines and had evidence that the doctor was a chemist also. In a small community that Blists Hill reconstructs you would not have a Chemists if the Doctor made his own medicine. This puts a doubt on the whole of the area as it makes you think that it has not been researched properly and as fully as it should have been before the reconstructions took place. There was also a Butchers and a Bakers. The Butchers was a shop in the Ironbridge area that had been relocated to Blists Hill. The Bakers was originally three miles away in Dawley. These have come and been brought in from local areas so the buildings fit in with the surrounding area. Whereas some of the buildings look a bit out of place. The only problem I have with these reconstructions is that they were fully stocked and in the 19th century they would not be as people would make a lot of this themselves and the owners of these would not be able to afford to keep their shops fully stocked with fresh produce. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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