You can easily imagine the excitement that Mary Drewe, a little girl of six years old, must have felt when this stunning doll’s house was revealed to her. For a giant toy it was highly sophisticated, boasting electricity and even running water! The interior was accessed by a series of gears which enable the front and back facades to be lowered into the base.
Doll's House. The dolls house is dated 1906, made for a Drew family daughter, initials M D. It is to be tidied up and redisplayed for the centenary of its construction. The piece is to be relocated over the winter 2005 / 06 to the other end of the corridor. The whole structure is an integral piece. It does not seem to be easily dismantled for repair. The house sits on a plinth of panelled pinewood framing. The base covers a floor space of 71 ins (180.5 cm) x 45 1/2 ins (115.5 cm). The ‘garden / paved terrace’ is approx 28 ins (71 cm ) above the floor. The house itself is 36 ins (91 cm) high to the ridge tiles. It is a composite of materials, wood, ply, oak, lead, fabrics etc principally with a painted finish. It contains a system of plumbing with a water tank in the attic. The rooms have been lit with light switches and torchlight bulbs, later rewired. The front and rear façades can be lowered, and raised, with the turning of a handle. The mechanism is a rack and pinion. Furnished rooms are then displayed with some original furnishings.
This item forms part of the original Drewe family collection at Castle Drogo. It was transferred to the National Trust in 1986. The Doll's House belonged to Mary Drewe and was made for her by the Wadhurst estate carpenter, William Hodder.
Marks and inscriptions