The early filmmakers couldn't take their cameras indoors - the lamps powerful enough to illuminate the scene weren’t yet available. So it's a good thing so much of Victorian society could be seen outside.
Almost any street corner, in any town or city - or park, field or promenade for that matter - could offer the filmmaker a minute or so of lively images. For the audience, it might be an opportunity to see a familiar location in a new light - and catch sight of friends, family or even themselves - or to be transported to some distant place. The world was getting smaller.
H.M.S. Powerful Moored at Portsmouth
Non-Fiction19000 minsSilent Location: Portsmouth
Take a good look at one of the era's largest warships - the hefty H.M.S. Powerful, back from the Boer War
Belfast Street Scenes 1890's
Non-Fiction18982 minsSilent Location: Belfast
A view down the High Street featuring the Albert Clock, a shot of Queen's Bridge and the docks
Boys Scrambling for Pennies
A group of boys scramble to retrieve pennies tossed into the shallow water at the foot of Brighton's West Pier.
Diving at Port Skillion, Isle of Man
18971 minsSilent Location: Isle of Man
Victorian athletes demonstrate their diving skills at the pool - until an interloper makes the wrong kind of splash
Drive Past of Four-in-Hands
Tally-ho! A display of driving skill, Victorian-style, with horse-drawn carriages impressing crowds at a country fair
Horse-drawn Traffic in Seven Sisters Rd
Non-Fiction18981 minsSilent Location: South Tottenham
London N7 as you've not seen it before: a Victorian tram ride view of the Seven Sisters Road
Horse-drawn Traffic Viewed from Elevated Position
Non-Fiction18981 minsSilent Location: King's Cross Sta
Webcam, Victorian style: high-angle film of London streets
Jack's Game of Cricket on Board H.M.S. Gibraltar
Sailors strip off for a playground game with shovels for bats and coal for a ball
Train Entering Hove Station
Non-Fiction19001 minsSilent Location: Hove
A scene from the golden age of rail travel - all the hustle and bustle of a Victorian train station
Arthur Mold Bowling to A.N. Hornby (1901)
Non-Fiction19019 minsSilent Location: Old Trafford Cricket Ground
Did he bowl or did he throw? A fascinating record of an early cricketing controversy.
Children Leaving Tyldesley Catholic School, Lodge Road (1901)
Non-Fiction19012 minsSilent Location: Tyldesley
Edwardian boys and girls leave school, shuffled along by their earnest teachers.
The Derby: Coaches, Etc, Through Epsom Town
Non-Fiction18992 minsSilent Location: Epsom
Red letter day for the Victorian horseracing fraternity and the Surrey town.
Early Fashions on Brighton Pier
Non-Fiction18981 minsSilent Location: Brighton
An accidental fashion parade as holiday promenaders pass before the camera on Brighton Pier
Lady Mostyn Discharging Grain at Irvine (c.1901)
Non-Fiction19013 minsSilent Location: Irvine
Dock workers unload grain from a cargo ship in Edwardian North Ayrshire.
Launch of the Filey Lifeboat
On the Yorkshire coast, a Victorian crew launch their lifeboat the old-fashioned way, with a horse-drawn slipway
Manchester Street Scenes (1901)
Non-Fiction19014 minsSilent Location: Manchester
A rare glimpse of early Edwardian Manchester when the horse-drawn tram still reigned supreme.
Scenes at Chester on the River Dee (1901)
Non-Fiction19018 minsSilent Location: Chester
Messing about in boats on the River Dee - fine frocks and frolics at Chester Regatta.
Scenes at Egremont Ferry (1901)
Non-Fiction19012 minsSilent Location: Egremont
Edwardian tourists and businessmen hurry off the ferry and down the long pier at Egremont on the River Mersey.
Scenes at Monument Bridge in Hull (1900)
Non-Fiction19002 minsSilent Location: Kingston upon Hull
A melee of traffic, carts, trams, bicycles and people of all ages squeeze past the camera in Victorian Hull.
Scenes in a Manchester Park (c.1901)
Non-Fiction19015 minsSilent Location: Chorlton-cum-Hardy
An enigmatic Edwardian snapshot recording a ceremonial procession of soldiers and police in the Manchester suburbs.
Scenes in Hull (1901)
Non-Fiction19011 minsSilent Location: Kingston upon Hull
A street scene in Edwardian Hull is dominated by advertising for an event to celebrate returning soldiers from the Boer War.
Scenes of Ashton under Lyne (1901)
Non-Fiction19013 minsSilent Location: Ashton-Under-Lyne
Aspects of the Lancashire market town, with policemen, small girls, dogs and passers-by.
Sedgwick's Bioscope Showfront at Pendlebury Wakes (1901)
Non-Fiction19012 minsSilent Location: Pendlebury
Outside a fairground cinematograph in Edwardian Lancashire.
Snowdrop Ferry at Seacombe (1901)
Non-Fiction19015 minsSilent Location: Seacombe
Ferries across the Mersey show Edwardian workers on their daily commute to and from Liverpool.
Trip to Sunny Vale Gardens at Hipperholme (1901)
Non-Fiction19017 minsSilent Location: Hipperholme
Summertime laughs and larks at a West Yorkshire pleasure gardens.
Street Scene in unidentified European city
Few clues to who shot these Victorian scenes on an unknown bridge, and where.
Town Moor Fair Scenes
Non-Fiction18981 mins Location: Newcastle upon Tyne
All the fun of the fair in this Victorian film, made in the early years of Newcastle's famous Hoppings
View from an Engine Front - Train Leaving Tunnel
And we're off! Take a ride on a steam engine into total darkness, but never fear, there's light at the end of the tunnel
View from an Engine Front - Ilfracombe
A Victorian train trip through the Devonian countryside and into the famous seaside town.