These late Victorian stables are in a remarkably good original condition. The ironwork dividing the stable bays were made by a famous ironfounders (H Young and Company) who also made many bronze castings of statues.
Reveley has been given a number of interesting house and garden objects which are now being displayed. Some items are in course of restoration.
Mangle – a Ewbank ‘Ladyhelp’
A mangle is a mechanical machine used for laundry before the invention of modern washing machines. The hand turned crank handle turns the rubber rollers to squeeze excess water from wet clothes, sheets and towels.
This folding mangle was made for home use. It was made by Ewbank, an American Company, but sold here in England. The Company made many versions over the years, this one can be folded so that the rollers and mechanism drops down inside, and the hinged top becomes a useful small table top.
Sandstone Sharpening Wheel
This is a foot treadle powered sharpening wheel. Once common in farms to sharpen scythes, axes, knives and other farm tools. The wheel itself was cut from a block of sandstone, and suspended on a spindle in an iron frame. Because the scythe or tool became hot during the sharpening, the wheel ran through a trough of water to cool it down. This helped the metal to keep hard, and the cutting edge to last longer.
This barrel on a stand is a butterchurn used to turn cream into butter. It was made by G Llewellin in Haverfordwest Pembrokeshire. The barrel is not pivoted across its centre. This means that when the handle is turned the cream inside is splashed around with extra force and this speeds up the process of the fats in the cream separating out to form the more solid butter. This leaves behind traditional ‘buttermilk’.
This machine was used to chop up straw, grass and other food to feed to horses particularly during the winter. The food was pushed up the wooden trough and two rather dangerous sharp blades cut it up into small pieces, which are more easily digested by the animal. This version is driven by a hand wheel, but many larger versions had power driven cutter blades.
A 20th century saddle is also on display.
Delivery tricycles are made to this day, and are still used in parts of the world where fuel is expensive, and the delivery distances are short. This one was donated by Tweens the Chemist in Bushey village, and was in daily use until about 1960.
There are a number of other interesting garden and agricultural exhibits in the stables. Look out for the two handed saw which was used a few months ago to cut a branch off a fallen tree.