The Complete [Water] Works of Rudyard Kipling

Writing my description of the House Tour of Naulakha yesterday I purposely omitted any mention of bathrooms. I thought that they deserved a separate post of their own.

A quick deviation to books here before I start on bathroom descriptions. Compared with all other Landmarks that I’ve visited the library (like the house itself) is h-u-g-e. In fact, it could be called a library (as in room) if it were not already called a study. Bookshelves fill all wall space not already occupied by desk, couch and fireplace. There is the usual couple of shelves of local and house related books but in addition there are full sets of classic authors – Hawthorne, Austen, Scott – unfortunately no Edith Wharton (more about her later) and there are many ‘old’, but no less interesting I’m sure, books. In addition there are, as you might suppose, several runs of The Complete Works of Rudyard Kipling.

From the House Tour notes :


The Kiplings had one L-shaped bathroom. The Holbrooks divided this in two and made a pair of complete bathrooms. We left the latter arrangement as more suitable to modern usage. The toilet in the middle bath and the tub in the south bath are original.

We didn’t dare to use it!

We know it’s RK’s bath because it has his nameplate on it :

The fixtures all required re-nickeling.

One of the servant’s rooms was converted to a bathroom by the Holbrooks. The Trust removed the concrete floor that had been installed during these alterations, and replaced it with tile in a typical turn-of-the-century design.

In amongst the local/house related books I found :

It’s a fascinating study of bathrooms but I can’t believe it dates all the way back to the early 1900s. It’s a reprint, but even so … I’m sure this would not be Rudyard Kipling choosing his sanitary wear.

Or even the Holbrooks – theirs is far too complicated :


6 comments on “The Complete [Water] Works of Rudyard Kipling

  1. It certainly did deserve a post of its own! Wonderful. One always wonders…

    • Barbara Howard says:

      Thanks, Diana. I just thought the title so apt as RK obviously liked to have the most up-to-date sanitary equipment!

  2. Oh my word, did you ever see the like! A wooden cistern cover!! Barbara I hope you languished in that bath, what a treat.

    • Barbara Howard says:

      Oh yes, I did! Who could resist? All the complicated gadgetry and superb sanitary wear was top quality and still works fine today.

  3. Well, except for the stream of cold water that emitted from the servants bathroom shower!

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