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Listed in 1 collection

Listed at 1 museum

Listed for 1 maker

Quick Details

Carriage Type

Estate Van

Date of Production

circa 1860

Accession or Inventory Number

NT 1298852

Materials used

Paint, Wood, Iron

Summary of Estate Van

This is a lovely example of an estate van, well built and rather unusual being of such a large size and only having two wheels. The van has been repainted in recent years in brown with red wheels.

Most country estates would have had a van of this nature for use for a variety of things. On shoots they would have had the game hung in them. Picnics and staff would have been transported around the estate with the family and guests taking the ride in a more comfortable sporting carriage. 

Full description

This fine example of an estate van was used on the Tatton Park estate for transporting game, picnics and staff to and from shoots and open air luncheons. One would normally expect a vehicle with such a large body to have four wheels rather than two. The lack of another pair of wheels means that the van would not stand straight when unhorsed. To rectify this problem a fold down stand has been fitted to the underside of the footwell which is dropped to the ground by a chain that hooks onto a hook on the heel board.

The body of the van is very nicely built with panel sides. The framework has champhered edges and forms an attractive curved edge at the front. On each side are three windows, two large and one smaller one in between. The back of the van is also panelled and has a door for access. At the front is a deep footwell, completely boxed in with a panel at the front that has a curved upper edge. A solid seat is fitted with a raised box seat in the centre. Behind the seat a solid panel separates the front from the rear compartment, it has a small oval shaped window. The van has an overhang at the front to give some protect from inclement weather to the driver.

Inside the van is simple and functional. Plain seats run from the front to the back. There is a wooden shutter that can be pulled across the oval window in the front panel. 

The shafts are straight and pass through the front of the footwell. They have elegantly curved iron supports bolted to the front of the van. Both shafts have been broken across the join in the wood. One is missing and the other is placed in the footwell.

On the nearside, to access the front, is a step with a rather strange arrangement. The lower step is on a long bracket of a shallow S shape. It has an oval shape tread and a strengthening bracket halfway. The second step is not attached to the first but is positioned very close to the bracket of the lower step. This step also has an oval tread and is fixed to the van with a folded bracket. An iron grab handle is fitted to the nearside front edge of the van. To access the back is a folding step with a large rectangular tread.

The van has 14 spoke staggered English pattern wheels on mail axles with metal tyres. The axle is cranked to accommodate the low body of the vehicle. It is sprung on side springs.

As with the State Coach in the Tatton Park collection, this vehicle has also had a new paint scheme. The body is painted in a mustard brown colour, very high gloss. The wheels, springs and shafts are painted red with black lining. The inside of the footwell and the ironwork are painted black. The interior is painted cream.


There are no inscriptions on this Estate Van.

Condition report

Apart from the broken shafts and the lack of original paintwork this Estate Van is in super condition with all the components being sound. 

Access informaton

This Estate Van is in the care of The National Trust, Tatton Park

Tatton Park, 



WA16 6QN

Picture credit

The National Trust / Amy Bracey / Robert Lovell