History of beds

 

Beds were usually constructed from wood and had a mattress stuffed with straw, animal hair, or feathers. Curtains would have been hung around the bed to offer privacy and protection from the cold - it was usual for other family members and servants to sleep in the same room. Servants would sleep on a straw mattress (palliasse) that would be stored under the master's bed during the day. This type of bed is still known as a 'truckle'.

Until well into the 20th Century, many poor people slept on straw mattresses.

Queen Victoria was reputed to sleep on four mattresses (straw, 2 animal hair, down topping) - perhaps the story of ‘The Princess and the Pea’ is not far from the truth.

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