The Edwardian period in Britain was a time when society still closely resembled that of the Victorian age with clear class divides, but it was also a transformative time.
In 1911, there were more than 1.3 million people (mainly women) employed as domestic servants in Britain – compared to 1.2 million working in agriculture and around 971,000 coal miners.
Want to know even more about the real events from history that inspired the drama? Read more from the experts at our curated page on Downton Abbey
The upper classes could afford to have housemaids, cooks and butler to ensure their homes ran efficiently, with minimal effort from the family. A typical Edwardian townhouse would include accommodation for servants who would live alongside the family they served.
Find out more with our infographic guide to life ‘downstairs’ in a typical Edwardian house…