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Homes and Domestic Spaces

Homes provided security and safety for some LGBTQ people when same-sex intimacy was condemned by society, and sexual activity between men was criminalised. As the location where men and women might live out their same-sex desires and commitments, the home could also be the place of greatest risk. For royals and elites, homes also served administrative purposes, and were never completely private. Neither were those of the overcrowded poor.

  • Apethorpe Hall, Apethorpe, Northamptonshire. Main Court. View looking east.

    Elite Homes

    Many castles, palaces and grand country houses across England have their own LGBTQ heritage.

  • View of the keystones on Henley Bridge

    Under Scrutiny at Home

    Servants and locals were naturally curious about wealthy employers and neighbours.

  • Vita Sackville-West's desk and chair

    Domestic Privacy

    Homes offered privacy away from prying eyes and potentially dangerous attacks.

  • Vanessa Bell is cutting Lytton Strachey's hair while Roger Fry, Clive Bell, Duncan Grant and an unidentified guest look on

    Experiments in Living

    Gay men and lesbians have long been active in radical housing alternatives, both out of choice and out of necessity.

  • Edward Carpenter, George Merrill, and G. Hukin seated outdoors

    Millthorpe and Carpenter

    Rarely has a single house been the site of such important political and cultural developments as Millthorpe.