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The interior of the Apprentice House today bears very little resemblance to what it was like in the early 19th century. Does this mean that it is of no value as evidence of how Styal Apprentices lived in the early 19th century?

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Introduction

The interior of the Apprentice House today bears very little resemblance to what it was like in the early 19th century. Does this mean that it is of no value as evidence of how Styal Apprentices lived in the early 19th century? Since it was last used to house the Apprentices in the mid 19th century, the Apprentice House at Styal has served many purposes. It has served as a television repair shop, a store room and private residence, to name just a few. It has also been derelict. When the National Trust obtained the property in the 1970's it was basically just an empty shell. Even today, half of the House remains the private residence of National trust workers. All of this limits its usefulness and reliability to Historians. As a result, of its many uses, much of the original evidence has been lost. However, regardless of this, the National Trust has an underlying interest, in presenting the Apprentice House as it would have been, when it was in its original use. They have a vested interest in recreating it as accurately as possible, otherwise no customers would visit, and the National trust would lose money. ...read more.

Middle

The Guide said that what is now the Doctor's room was probably 'probably one of the Boy's rooms'. This is, because according to Priestley, the Boy's slept in Dormitories, opposite the girl's: 'the girls on one side of the house and the boys on the other'. According to the Guide, although the room is small, it would only have housed a relatively smaller number of boys. This was, because Mr Greg thought that boys were more troublesome and needed extra room. The room existing today, is based upon what Doctor Holland's, would probably have looked like. For example, according to his Doctor's notebook on October 13th, he says, 'have six leeches applied...apply to a blister'. From this we know that Dr Holland used such remedies as Brimstone and treacle, to promote diarrhoea. The Doctor's room, like many others at the apprentice House, is only a typical Doctor's room. According to the Guide, it was only meant to illustrate the fact that there was a Doctor. The Guide said it is much more likely that Doctor Holland just brought his equipment and set it up in the corner of a room. ...read more.

Conclusion

The modern-day Kitchen is a typical Kitchen of the period, in the probable setting of the original Kitchen and using evidence from the Apprentices who lived there. Because of this, it is a very reliable secondary source for those looking to use it as evidence. As aforementioned, the House's Kitchen garden can, rather accurately, show us what supplemented the apprentice's diet. However, other more miscellaneous things can provide evidence, to how they lived. There is a water pump, outhouse and water bucket, to give us a good idea about what would probably have gone on. With the case of the water pump, we can assume that it was pre-existing to the renovation. Although the Apprentice House today, probably looks little like it would have in terms of layout, to what it would have looked like; the evidence shows that it is fairly matched, in terms of the reliability of evidence. Even though, most of the evidence, particularly the props, is not from the actual apprentice House, the majority of it is of the period. Or at least, it is a modern replica using all of the evidence available. So, the Apprentice House offers quite reliable evidence, as a secondary source, of how the Apprentices would have lived. ?? ?? ?? ?? Adam Pearson-Davies ...read more.

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