Wagonette

Also spelled Waggonette

Versatile carriages with many uses. Passengers sat in long bench-style seats that faced each other with the passengers’ backs to the roadside. Those seats could be used to haul luggage, which made it useful for trips to the station and estate work. This was one of the carriages that were suitable to be driven by either the coachman or owner and were popular with families.

The first wagonette was built in the 1840s and remained very popular into the 20th century.

Lonsdale Wagonette

This type of wagonette had a folding head that could cover all the passengers in the bench seats. It came up from the passenger’s back on both sides and met in the center. It was introduced in the 1890s, and the Earl of Lonsdale claimed to have designed it.

  • Seats: 4 passengers + coachman (or owner) & groom

  • Horses: 2

Portland Wagonette

This was a wagonette that had a head like a backwards barouche or victoria; it folded up from behind the driver and pointed backwards, covering only the front half of the body. It wasn’t super popular because the head was only useful to those few passengers and was kind of useless; the driver and the rest were open to the elements.

This style was introduced around the 1890s.

  • Seats: 6 passengers + coachman (or owner) & groom

  • Horses: 2 or 4

Governess Cart

Also known as a Governess Car or Tub Carts (due to their shape)

This was a small informal two-wheel carriage used by mothers or governesses to take the children on a drive. The seating was like a wagonette with benches that faced each other but with the passengers' backs to the edge of the road. These carriages were always owner-driven, but there wasn’t a seat for them specifically; the bench had a slight cut-out so that the driver could sit at an angle and twist to point slightly towards the front (which would have been uncomfortable).

 

Dogcarts had previously been popular with families, but they had a poor safety record for passengers, and this was designed to be a safer option. It was first introduced in the 1890s-1900s and was one of the last carriage types.

  • Seats: 2-3 children & 1-2 adults

  • Horses: 1