Two West Wickham sisters wrote diaries spanning 60 years about life in nineteenth century

PUBLISHED: 17:12 05 April 2013

Ellen Hall, one of the sisters who kept a diary of her life in Victorian West Wickham.

Ellen Hall, one of the sisters who kept a diary of her life in Victorian West Wickham.


In 1842, Charles Hall arrived in West Wickham to live at Ravenswood with his three daughters Louisa, Emily and Ellen. The sisters wrote a series of diaries which span a 60-year period covering all aspects of their lives.

Louisa married in 1845. Her diaries only survive from 1858, making entries concerning her activities and commenting on her children and other family matters.

Emily and Ellen, who never married, referred to their diaries as journals in which they wrote very full and lively accounts, not only of their activities, the state of the weather and of their own health, but also of their thoughts and feelings and of their personal relationships.

The sisters travelled widely making frequent visits all over England and sightseeing tours of Wales and Scotland.

In 1852 they embarked on a continental tour which saw them visit France, Germany, Switzerland and Italy, and their diaries provide vivid detail of the places they went to.

These diaries give us an insight into the lives and events of the residents of Victorian West Wickham that is both enlightening and entertaining.

The Hall diaries are part of the Bromley Archives collection, along with images and biographical material which can be found at the Local Studies Library.

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