Britain’s Victorian Pubs
A Victorian pub mainly categorized because of the era it was established in; the Victorian Ages. The Victorian Ages are time where grandeur and opulence were introduced. The Victorian Ages are called so because the monarch who reigned was Queen Victoria. Queen Victoria reigned from 1837 – 1901. The Victorians did almost everything with a swig of beer. Bearing in mind it was a time when water was often extremely polluted and laced with sewage. The Victorians had to make do with beer by force.
Imagine having to ingest food and drink that more than likely had mingled with fresh. There weren’t any strict rules and regulations as there are now so although eating and drink was a way to live, it was also a way to die.
Beer was the safest bet. In an unsanitary time, beer was virtually germ free. The alcohol content of beer would kill the germs and bacteria making the safest option to quench your thirst. Even heavily pregnant women and children would gulf down beer instead of water at any given chance.
So now we Victorian public house became a popular place because it had a product of value to the nations. It slowly became for hosting meetings and gatherings and at times a conference center. You could say the Victorian pub was the original conference center. As you can imagine many different people of differing caliber and classes were entering the local pub. This resulted in the Victorian pub separating the different classes and types of drinkers. There where rooms for the rich gentlemen, another for the rowdy riff-refers and another for the ladies.
The Victorian pub was however a more masculine dominated location. Women where not so welcome in the Victorian public houses due to their attitudes towards women consuming alcohol. Right up into the 1980’s the pub was not a place for a woman to go in unaccompanied and that is strongly reminiscent of Victorian times.
Apart from being an essentially organized drinking house the Victorian pub was a hub for prostitutes and why wouldn’t it be?
It was a place predominantly full of drunk men. These Victorian prostitutes would be lower class women with very expensive clothes and perfume.
The public house was an open arena for the highest female paying job of the Victorian Era. An educated woman would never be able to support herself and a family on her wages alone. A husband would be needed to assist. For prostitutes, especially a beautiful on you could make a hefty amount of money.
Apart from prostitutes and wives, sisters or relatives of men any woman found drinking alone was regarding as poor, lone, fallen mother trying to drown away her sorrows. The Victorian pub had its own specific character and spunk. These qualities have not been lost as time has gone by making them a popular location to immerse oneself in history at its finest.