21 Romilly street is a Regency period or thereabouts townhouse, very typical of thousands of similar built in and around London in the late eighteenth/ early nineteenth century.
Quite small in comparison to those found in Mayfair, or especially the later Victorian mansions of Belgravia and Knightsbridge, our little Georgian house occasionally provides some little secrets about life nearly 200 years ago.
When we moved to the building, we found at the back two tiny rooms on top of each other, connected by an equally tiny staircase. Each room is no bigger than 2 x 3 metres, and has no windows. We did some research and learned that these rooms would have been used as servants quarters, probably with a married couple sharing this tiny space as their home.
For me, it’s amazing to think that all these years ago, even the most modest of houses had fully employed service for all domestic duties, and especially interesting when you realise the tiny, cramped spaces they inhabited.
We now use the spaces for part of our wines and spirits storage, so it’s nice to think of some Remains of the Day Anthony Hopkins type character enjoying a nice bottle of something after service late one night.