Station: [13] Rural Living and Working

Before industrialisation, all the rooms in a house, regardless of their prime purpose, would have served as work rooms. Embroidery, spinning and weaving would have taken place in the parlour.

The bed chamber, with its four-poster bed, was always unheated. In winter, it was absolutely freezing in there. The bedclothes and bed curtains hardly helped against the cold – better to use a bed-warming-pan

Another essential item was a chamber pot, or even a commode – because the privy was out in the yard.

The often elaborately painted rustic cupboards were used to store all the people’s belongings. Later, after the owner had died, the piece of furniture passed to the heirs, and a new set of initials was added.

Wedding wreaths, combined with good wishes, were intended to sanctify, bless and protect the house. They remain as evidence of period traditions even now.

For centuries, everyday life was shaped by superstition and a belief in magic. Until well into the 19th century, a broken pair of scissors was placed under the doorstep – to prevent a witch, for instance, from cutting the lifeline of anyone who lived there.

All depictions: © Stadt- und Fachwerkmuseum Eppingen