The life and duties of a scullery maid.

If you ever start to think that your job is a bit hard then consider the life and duties of the scullery maid. You generally don’t see them about anymore but it’s a pretty good bet that your great Granny knew them or even did the job they did. They were the workhorses of the old stately home and given generally the worst jobs. They would be expected to clean and work in the kitchen all day long cleaning and helping with the cooking and preparing of the meals for the Lords and Ladies upstairs, this was their life. In our modern times we don’t need an army of scullery maids, but you may find that you need some contract cleaning services Gloucestershire way or anywhere else for that matter. If you do, then why not give a quite look. They well be able to provide you with a quick efficient service just like our scullery maid here.

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If you like early starts, then the life of the scullery maid was for you. She was generally up before anyone else getting the water on to boil. She was going to be very acquainted with the kettle and the hot water as she was going to need it for a number of things. The kitchen floor would need to be scrubbed. Several pots would need to be cleaned to the point of gleaming and then there was the tea to be made before the head butler and cook came in. There was a similar sort of mini class system in the “downstairs” world and the scullery maid was at the bottom. She was a young girl learning her trade so there is no way she was going to be allowed to sit at the staff table, especially when there was cooking food that needed to be monitored.

If they were really lucky they were able to get upstairs and clean the chamberpots out. What a luxury. You have to wonder at what the Scullery maid must have thought of all that luxury and riches. Scullery maids were not allowed to clean the expensive glassware or the ornaments for fear of her damaging them. This was specialist work that they could only dream of aspiring to, it was worth more as it was paid more.

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After that it was back down to the kitchen to help the cook prepare the vegetables or to pluck the chicken, pheasant, duck for the evening meal. There is one slight positive for the scullery maid, if she is attentive and lucky with the cook she works for being an agreeable person then there was a chance that she might be able to pick up some tips and actually start to learn a trade. There was certainly a chance for advancement but as for starting at the bottom then this is surely it.

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