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The Victorians' Obsession with Sweets


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As Staff and Volunteers at Insole Court, we all love sweet treats.
We dunk them, we crunch them, we chew them and more importantly ...we enjoy them!
Sweets are always a popular souvenir and we've delved deeper into why it's so much a part of our culture, dating back to the Victorian era, to the time of the Insole family.

In Victorian times, everything seemed possible! It was the time for great groundbreaking inventions such as the steam railway. Historically sweets and confectionery were hand-made luxury available only to Kings, Queens and aristocrats. Developments in new machinery during the industrial revolution and improvements in equipment made the production of sweets much cheaper and therefore more available to a wider audience. Suddenly, sweets became an accessible treat for all!

The first dark or plain chocolate bar was made in 1847, but it took nearly another 30 years before milk chocolate bar was invented following rigorous testing to get the right consistency.

A lot of modern sweets were also invented in Victorian times. This was because sugar, which was imported from the West Indies became much cheaper and a wide variety of boiled sweets were developed.
Fudge was invented in the the USA in the 1880s and toffee and jelly beans were invented in the early 19th century. Hard boiled sweets made from lemon or peppermint flavours were popular in the early 19th century and family favourites such as 'Rhubarb and Custard' and 'Pear Drops' have stood the test of time.

We have lots of delicious sweet treats in our Potting Shed Cafe and Gift Shop which are perfect for you afternoon stroll in our gardens, or as a gift to take home to loved ones.

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