Upstairs Downstairs
A new, docent-led tour focusing on Victorian women

Upstairs Downstairs won The 2015 Willing Hands Award from the New Century Trust,  AASLH’s “2014 Award of Merit” and
History in Pennsylvania’s  “2013 Excellence in Education and Public Programming”

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The tour examines women’s roles during the Civil War era and the early suffrage movement, while explaining their social strata, historical context, and lasting significance.


Step back in time to discover the challenges and enjoyments of Victorian women across all socioeconomic levels. Guests will be greeted at the door by a Victorian maid who will conduct the below stairs tour. Upstairs, the lady of the house will guide visitors.

Features of the interpretation include:

  • Roles of Victorian women, from housemaids to middle-class Anna Maxwell and upper-class Rosalie Stevenson
  • Problems encountered by women during the 19th century such as taxation without representation, lack of personal freedom, property rights, divorce and custody laws.
  • The impact on, and service of, women during the Civil War.
  • Rotating displays of fashion plates from Godey’s Lady’s Book and Victorian-era menus, including: Christmas Dinner, Early Spring Breakfast party, Summer Picnic and At Home Tea
  • Each guest will receive a unique pin and an informational card of a Victorian woman, with which to identify during the tour. Featured Philadelphia women include suffragists, lawyers, doctors and writers, as well as less accomplished women such as the Maxwell maids, prostitutes, etc.
  • Authentic Victorian-era cookie baked from a recipe featured in Miss Leslie’s Directions for Cookery. Philadelphian Eliza Leslie was 19th century’s most popular author of cookbooks. Each person takes home this Victorian recipe.
  • Enjoy champagne and light comestibles.

UpDownScheduled 2015 Dates:

In conjunction with the last season of Downton Abbey, WHYY  is offering a special Upstairs Downstairs tour to its members. CLICK HERE to purchase tickets to this special event.

This very special tour would be perfect for a Friday evening group outing. Call to schedule your group now! WHYY Newsworks reviewed the Mansion’s Upstairs Downstairs interpretation. You can read it HERE!

Click HERE to purchase tickets online or call 215-438-1861 for more details and to purchase tickets. Visa and MasterCard are accepted.

This very special tour would be perfect for a Friday evening group outing. Call to schedule your group now!




Photo Credit: Kyle Cassidy