Museum on the Move – Grove Museum

The Grove Museum was developed in the mid 19th century by the Liverpool shipping merchant Duncan Gibb as a summer retreat for himself and his family. Later, the Victorian residence became the family’s permanent home.  Step out into the gardens and you’ll be able to see the Loaghtan sheep, ducks on the pond and bees making honey.

The Gibbs

We know a lot about what life was like at the Grove because the family kept all their letters, photographs and paperwork. They are all kept safely in Manx National Heritage’s archives. Some of the papers reveal that life wasn’t all hard work for Alice and Janet Gibb.

(Janet Gibb pictured right)

Living the high life

During one eventful winter they recall throwing a big party for all the Ramsey friends. To make sure there was room for dancing they had to take the doors of the dining room and drawing room. Quite the effort!

(Alice Gibb pictured right)

Royal Ramsey

Queen Victoria and her husband Prince Albert actually visited Ramsey in 1847, although the Queen was so sea sick on the journey that she didn’t make it to land! Prince Albert climbed up the slopes of Lhergy Friseel Hill and very much admired the view! The people of Ramsey built a tower on top of the hill to celebrate the Royal visit. It is known as the Albert Tower and there is still a great view from the top.

Domestic Service in the Grove

The 1841 census shows that that Duncan Gibb and the family are on holiday on the Isle of Man and staying at The Grove. They had some of their servants with them – this included a Governess, two maids, and a manservant. The 1881 census shows that the Gibb family have  two servants living in, both girls aged 17 and 19 years. This would probably not be the total number of staff they employed – only those who lived in the house would be recorded on the census. No cook is shown, so we can presume that she lived elsewhere, and the two girls were maids.

The Grove Kitchen

The Grove Kitchen has a large range to heat the home and boil water. The linen is smoothed by a linen press and irons and knives sharpened by a knife sharpener.

Herbs hang from the ceiling to dry out ready to flavour foods or to make preparations for the family.

Lavender sachets were a popular gift in the Victorian and Edwardian era. These were used to scent clothing by placing among the fresh linen in draws.

Download the activity sheet below to make your own lavender bags.

Back to top