The Horse and Carriage was one of the most common forms of transport throughout the Victorian Era and was used by both poorer farmers in the country and the rich and noble within the bigger towns and cities. You would even find horse drawn carriages in the form of buses and trams within the city streets for Victorians to get around. Wealthy people could of course afford their very own private carriages. Many people living in the country would use open vehicles such as wagons and drays rather than carriages seen in the towns.
By the 1860s many had started to use the railways for long journeys due to the comfort and speed compared to the carriage. That being said, many wealthy Victorians still loved being transported in their own carriages complete with matching horses and amazing decoration and crests.
An everyday carriage drawn by one horse and was popular among the wealthy and middle classes. It was a light four wheeled vehicle, enclosed with two doors and forward facing window, perfect for everyday use. The Broughams were often sold on as hackney carriages (Taxis) once they had been used by private owners.
The Hanson Cab
A common carriage available in both the city and country was the Hanson Cab. A two wheeled carriage that was able to turn quickly and get around most streets quickly with very little problem. The driver of this carriage had much control over the vehicle and also the occupants inside. With leavers found around the back of the carriage where he would sit, the driver could open and close the doors and even keep the doors closed if the fare was not given upon arrival at the destination. There was a hatch located at the back so that the passengers could talk and provide directions to the driver.
A four wheeled vehicle suitable for carrying more than two people. This horse and cart was nicknamed the “growler” because of the noise the wheels would often make on cobbled streets. This carriage was the perfect vehicle for transporting people from railway stations and taking people on holidays thanks to the amount of luggage it could hold alongside its occupants.
This carriage was named after the German town where it was first produced. It came complete with a folding top which allowed you to use the carriage open in the warmer months. This specific carriage was seen as a real status symbol among Victorians, only owned by very successful men with it costing a whopping £220 in the 1890s, many tens of thousands of pounds in today’s money.