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 removed to allow for luggage, making 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.

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. The driver had no cover from the weather.

The Earl of Lonsdale claimed to have designed it and was introduced in the 1890s.

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

  • Horses: 2

Portland Wagonette

This had a strange head that rose from behind the drive to cover only the first half of the passengers behind him. It wasn’t super popular because the head was only useful to those few passengers. 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 two-wheel, small, informal carriage used by mothers or governesses to take the children on a drive. The seating was like a wagonette. These carriages were always owner-driven, but there wasn’t a seat for them specifically; they sat at a diagonal slat in the back right-hand corner (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 children & 2 adults

  • Horses: 1