The Nursery

This room provides a fascinating glimpse into 19th century childhood.

Period appropriate furnishings include a Georgian Highchair, cradle and children’s piano along with examples of Victorian toys and books.

Everything you would expect a privileged child of the time to have.

Boys were usually sent away to boarding school in England at a young age.

The Butlers traditionally sent their sons to Harrow. Girls however generally received less formal education at home including sewing, drawing, etiquette and instruction on running a household.

View of the Nursery



From first scientific toys that used animated images to modern movies, retinal persistence has been fundamental to fooling the mind into believing that a series of static images are in motion.

In 1834, the English mathematician George Horner proposed a practical apparatus based on the phenakistoscope of Plateau and Stampfer (1830).

It eliminated the need for a mirror and it enabled several people at the same time to view the moving pictures – an advance over the single spectator of the earlier toy.


This scientific toy with animated images also relies on retinal persistence to make us believe we are seeing images in motion.

The praxinoscope was patented by the Frenchman Emile Reynaud in 1877, who was looking to overcome the deficiencies of the zoetrope, the most popular at the time.

His apparatus was the first to eliminate the distorted view of the images in movement caused by insufficient light passing through the small slots of the zoetrope.

This improvement in the quality of the image resulted in its immediate popularity.

Noah's Ark

Noah’s Arks have been made at least since the 1700s  and were one of  the most popular wooden toys of the nineteenth century.

Nearly every well to do Victorian family  had one. Due to their biblical theme,  Noah’s Arks were often the only toy children were permitted to play with on Sundays.

 During the 19th century most arks were made in Germany where entire families would carve and paint the animals.

Rocking horse

Antique rocking horse by Lines of London c 1890, extra carved, medium sized, fully restored by Classic Rocking Horses of Thirsk, North Yorkshire.

Rocking horses in their current form are believed to have first appeared in the early 17th century.
Queen Victoria’s love of rocking horses was instrumental in making them very popular in the 19th century.
Interestingly, this rocking horse is a fashion object, as well as a toy: the particular coat colour, called “dappled grey”- grey with white spots – was Queen Victoria’s favourite.
Child's Deportment Chair

Child’s Deportment Chair

Antique corrective chair c1835 with Victorian replacement rush seat, beechwood frame with turned decoration to imitate bamboo, with a horizontally ribbed back with six rails, eight stretchers, an oval caned seat and turned legs with splayed feet, made in England .

Invented by Sir Astley Paston Cooper (1768-1841), a surgeon and anatomist, deportement chairs were designed to correct poor posture in children.

7It was considered dignified for a child to have upright posture, with a straight back and the head held high.

It was believed this was important not only for discipline, but also medical reasons.

Children in a Victorian classroom or nursery would be sent to sit on the deportment chair when they were naughty.

It was seen as a form of punishment, as the nature of the design (small seat and upright back) meant the child was forced to sit very still; if they were to fidget or slouch, they would inevitably fall off.

Child's Lambing Chair

Child’s mahogany rocking lambing chair c1800.

This type of chair with winged sides is referred as a lambing chair.

This particular design was prevalent in the Yorshire Dales in the 1800s and the sides were designed to protect from draughts during the long nights of lambing season.

These chairs often have storage space underneath.

this particular lambing chair was designed to accommodate a chamber pot instead.

The paintings 

Lady Anne -Wandesford Butler, unknown artist

Lady Anne -Wandesford Butler 

Artist: unknown

Second eldest daughter of James Butler, 1st Marquess of Ormonde and Grace Louisa Staples, she married in 1838, the Right Honourable John Wynne of Hazelwood, Co. Sligo.

A lady in a pensive mood wearing a navy off the shoulder dress with puffed three quarter length sleeves edged with lace.

Her left elbow rests on a book and her hand is under her chin wth a finger on her cheek.

Auburn hair is dresed in an upstyle with ringlets on either side of face.

Georgiana Jocelyn (d.1819) by Lady Francis Jocelyn

Georgiana Jocelyn (d.1819)

Artist: Lady Francis Jocelyn

Georgiana was the daughter of the Hon. George Jocelyn and Tomasine Bowen, she married Major James Boyd in  1813. 

Her father  held the office of Member of Parliament (M.P.) for Dundalk between 1783 and 1798 and the office of Deputy Auditor-General in 1796.

Head and shoulders pencil portrait of Georgiana in profile. Handwritten inscription beneath Front inscription reads: ‘Georgiana Jocelyn – by her cousin Lady Francis Jocelyn’.

Lieutenant Lord Charles Wandesford Butler RN ( 1820-1857)

Lieutenant Lord Charles Wandesford Butler RN ( 1820-1857)

Charles was the youngest son of James Butler, 1st Marquess of Ormonde and Grace Louisa Staples.

Lord Charles Butler framed  oval daguerreotype with ornate brass inset in plain black square frame. 

Lord Charles is wearing formal black dress with white shire and holds a top hat on his knee.

Sarah Wynne (d.1903) by Sir Frederick William Burton

Sarah Wynne (d.1903)

Eldest daughter of Lady Anne-Wandesford Butler and John Wynne.

Artist: Sir Frederick William Burton

Watercolour portrait of Sarah Wynne  inserted into oval Giltwood mount in ornate Giltwood frame.

Lady Louisa Grace Butler (1868 -1896) by unknown artist

Lady Louisa Grace Butler (1868 -1896)

Artist: unknown

Third eldest daughter of James Butler, 1st Marquess of Ormonde and Grace Louisa Staples, she married Thomas Fortescue of Ravensdale,  Co. Louth,  1st Baron Clermont in 1840.

Wearing a white dress, brown centre parted hair in an upstyle with a braid encircling her head.

Nymphs bathing in a landscape

Nymphs bathing in a landscape

Artist: Follower of Cornelis van Poelenburgh (c.1595-1667) (A.. Carre) Signed A Carré and dated 1753

Three partially clothed female figures are in the foreground, while others disport themselves in the lake. In the background is a classical landscape. Signed “A: Carre 1753”

Steenie Johnson by W. B Hole, Engraver Thomas Brown. 1875

Steenie Johnson

Artist: W. B Hole, Engraver Thomas Brown. 1875

A group scene, showing Steenie Steenson demanding a Receipt for his Rent from Sir Robert Redgauntlet who is depicted seated with a broken leg set upon a wooden suport. the remiander of the group dressed in 17th century style male and femal, are carousing.

From  “Wandering Willie’s Tale” by Sir Walter Scott, engraved by Thomas Brown after a picture by W.B.Hole, published in Six Engravings in Illustration of Redgauntlet, 1876.

James Edward Theobald Butler (1844-1919)

James Edward Theobald Butler (1844-1919)

3rd Marquess of Ormonde, 21st Earl of Ormonde

Artist: Unknown from a photograph by Alexander Bassano (1829-1913)

Wearing uniform of the Houshold Cavalry, helmet on a mantlepiece. Standing with left arm resting on a sideboard.

This is dated and signed in 1876 the year of his marriage to Elizabeth Harriet Grosvenor.

The photographs from which the drawings were made were probably taken as momento of the year they married 1876.

James Edward Theobald Butler (1844-1919)

James Edward Theobald Butler (1844-1919)

3rd Marquess of Ormonde, 21st Earl of Ormonde

Artist:  C.W.Walton.

Head and shoulders right profile drawing  of the 3rd Marquess, James Edward Butler, dressed in a suit.

Elizabeth Harriet Grosvenor (1856-1928)

Elizabeth Harriet Grosvenor (1856-1928)

Marchioness of Ormonde

Artist: unknwon from a photograph by Alexander Bassano (1829-1913)

Seated with a book on her lap.

Wearig a dress, pearls and hand.

Hair is in an upstyle and plaited.

The photographs from which the drawings were made were probably taken as momento of the year she married James Edward Butler, 3rd Marquess of Ormonde.

James Wandesford Butler (1774-1838)

James Wandesford Butler (1774-1838)

1st Marquess of Ormonde, 19th Earl of Ormonde

From a painting by John Comerford ; Engraved by Parker

Head and Shoulders, profile looking to the right. Dressed in 17th century costume, his right hand is closed over an chair back and is gloved.

The left hand clasps his cape closed.