Real Happiness

Victorian and Modern Animals

An extended family, including grandparents outside their house c.1910
Members of the Baldwin family with their pet dog

Victorian pets and pets nowadays are quite similar. However in Victorian times it was mainly rich people who could afford pets like dogs and horses.

Many poor families couldn’t afford pets as they had hardly enough money to feed themselves. A lot of people had rats and mice in their houses but these were not pets.

Modern Pets

Nowadays we have dogs, cats, hamsters, horses, guinea pigs, gold fish and lots of other animals as pets. We also have lots of accessories for our pets because nearly everyone can afford them. 


This exhibition is part of a wider sustainability project delivered through the Rural Museums East Partnership. It is funded by Renaissance East of England.

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