Free

Street Life

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.

Read more Close
Watch for free

The Derby 1896The Derby 1896

Sport18960 minsSilent

A pioneering example of filmed news: from Epsom to the screen in record time

Watch for free

Feeding the TigersFeeding the Tigers

Interest film18991 minsSilent

A big cat has to perform for its supper in this early actuality film

Watch for free

H.M.S. Powerful Moored at PortsmouthH.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

Watch for free

Beach SceneBeach Scene

Non-Fiction18971 minsSilent

A charming image of children paddling on a pebbly beach on a hot summer's day

Watch for free

BeaglesBeagles

Amateur film18982 minsSilent

A pack of beagles are assembled for a hunt by their trainers and a huntsman

Watch for free

Belfast Street Scenes 1890'sBelfast 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

Watch for free

Boys Playing in SnowBoys Playing in Snow

Non-Fiction19001 minsSilent

Wintry fun as a gang of Victorian boys launch a boisterous snowball assault

Watch for free

Boys Scrambling for PenniesBoys Scrambling for Pennies

Non-Fiction18961 minsSilent

A group of boys scramble to retrieve pennies tossed into the shallow water at the foot of Brighton's West Pier.

Watch for free

Boys SlidingBoys Sliding

Non-Fiction19001 minsSilent

Snow fun: schoolboy japes brighten a wintry Victorian day.

Watch for free

Coaches and HuntsmanCoaches and Huntsman

Non-Fiction19000 minsSilent

An illustration of horsemanship straight out of a Victorian novel

Watch for free

Diving at Port Skillion, Isle of ManDiving 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

Watch for free

Drive Past of Four-in-HandsDrive Past of Four-in-Hands

Non-Fiction18990 minsSilent

Tally-ho! A display of driving skill, Victorian-style, with horse-drawn carriages impressing crowds at a country fair

Watch for free

Early British Loco - C.1900Early British Loco - C.1900

Non-Fiction19001 minsSilent

A railway mystery: where are we? Can you help?

Watch for free

Factory WorkersFactory Workers

Non-Fiction19003 minsSilent

The daily exodus of Victorian factory workers - but where?

Watch for free

First Film of BlackpoolFirst Film of Blackpool

Non-Fiction18993 minsSilent Location: Blackpool

Blackpool Tower is hard to miss in this local version of a 'phantom ride'

Watch for free

A Game of SnowballingA Game of Snowballing

Comedy18992 minsSilent

Mischievous Victorian kids build a snowman - out of a passer-by!

Watch for free

Highland ReelHighland Reel

Interest film18991 minsSilent

A traditional Scottish dance, specially staged at Balmoral for Queen Victoria

Watch for free

Horse-drawn Traffic in Seven Sisters RdHorse-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

Watch for free

Horse-drawn Traffic Viewed from Elevated PositionHorse-drawn Traffic Viewed from Elevated Position

Non-Fiction18981 minsSilent Location: King's Cross Sta

Webcam, Victorian style: high-angle film of London streets

Watch for free

Hunting SceneHunting Scene

Non-Fiction18971 minsSilent

A classically Victorian scene - horses and hounds setting off on an old-fashioned fox hunt

Watch for free

Hyde Park CornerHyde Park Corner

Non-Fiction18961 minsSilent

Very early film of the busy junction

Watch for free

Iron Foundry WorkersIron Foundry Workers

Industry sponsored film19001 minsSilent

Death-defying iron workers

Watch for free

Jack's Game of Cricket on Board H.M.S. GibraltarJack's Game of Cricket on Board H.M.S. Gibraltar

Non-Fiction19001 minsSilent

Sailors strip off for a playground game with shovels for bats and coal for a ball

Watch for free

May-DayMay-Day

Amateur film18991 minsSilent Location: Cockermouth

A May Day parade down Cockermouth’s Main Street, filmed by a local draper

Watch for free

Men, Women and DogMen, Women and Dog

Interest film19001 minsSilent

If a man makes improper advances, could a dog defend the honour of a Victorian lady?

Watch for free

Open-air Pig AuctionOpen-air Pig Auction

Non-Fiction19001 minsSilent

The source of a few Victorian families' bacon rashers and Sunday roasts - a pig is sold at an old-fashioned auction

Watch for free

Salvaging a SteamrollerSalvaging a Steamroller

Non-Fiction19002 mins

A hapless fairground engine is rescued from a ditch

Watch for free

SnowballingSnowballing

18990 minsSilent

Can a freshly made snowman survive a hail of icy artillery in this epic Victorian snowball fight?

Watch for free

Storm at Sandown I.O.W.Storm at Sandown I.O.W.

Non-Fiction19001 mins Location: Sandown

Crashing waves batter the seafront at Sandown on the Isle of Wight

Watch for free

Switchback RailwaySwitchback Railway

Non-Fiction18981 minsSilent

Fairground visitors enjoy a bumpy ride.

Watch for free

Train Entering Hove StationTrain 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

Watch for free

Train StationTrain Station

Non-Fiction18991 minsSilent Location: Cockermouth

Driver and Station Master exchange a staff as this LNWR 'local' stops for passengers

Watch for free

Vinolia SoapVinolia Soap

Advert18981 minsSilent

One of the earliest films showing off a brand: three women pack Vinolia soap into boxes

Watch for free

W.G. Grace Filoscope FilmW.G. Grace Filoscope Film

Non-Fiction18990 minsSilent

Two cricketing legends captured on an early home movie device

Watch for free

Workers Leave a FactoryWorkers Leave a Factory

Non-Fiction19001 mins

Subject: factory gate. Location: unknown...

Watch for free

Workers Leaving Work at VickersWorkers Leaving Work at Vickers

Non-Fiction19001 mins Location: Barrow-In-Furness

Factory gate glimpses at - we think - Barrow-in-Furness

Watch for free

A Wreck in a GaleA Wreck in a Gale

Non-Fiction19001 minsSilent

The ship may have been wrecked already, but storm waves batter it once again in this fearsome Victorian footage

Watch for free

Boys' Cricket Match and FightBoys' Cricket Match and Fight

Comedy19002 minsSilent

A rambunctious local scene

Watch for free

Coolie Boys Diving for CoinsCoolie Boys Diving for Coins

Non-Fiction19001 minsSilent

Local boys in Singapore harbour

Watch for free

Deck and Rigging of a Sailing ShipDeck and Rigging of a Sailing Ship

Non-Fiction19001 minsSilent

Visually striking Victorian interest film

Watch for free

The Derby 1895The Derby 1895

Sport18951 minsSilent

An exciting finish suggests that this is one of the very earliest British films

Watch for free

Five Large Yachts SailingFive Large Yachts Sailing

Non-Fiction19001 minsSilent

Five large yachts sail by on a calm stretch of water, possibly a river or estuary

Watch for free

Haggars Bioscope CameraHaggars Bioscope Camera

19001 minsSilent

A bit of publicity for a Welsh film pioneer

Watch for free

Jethart's HereJethart's Here

Non-Fiction19284 minsSilent Location: Jedburgh

A big celebration in Jedburgh, in the Scottish Borders

Watch for free

Leap FrogLeap Frog

Non-Fiction19001 minsSilent

The familiar game turns into something not seen in modern playgrounds: have you played Mounty-Kitty?

Watch for free

People passing through GatePeople passing through Gate

Non-Fiction19012 mins

A host of faces pass before the camera in a lively but frustrating film

Watch for free

Arthur Mold Bowling to A.N. Hornby (1901)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.

Watch for free

Bradford Town Hall SquareBradford Town Hall Square

Non-Fiction18962 minsSilent Location: Bradford

The earliest surviving footage of bustling Victorian Bradford.

Watch for free

Children Leaving Tyldesley Catholic School, Lodge Road (1901)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.

Watch for free

Children playing with skipping ropeChildren playing with skipping rope

Non-Fiction18961 minsSilent

The action in this little film is clear enough, even if the context remains a mystery.

Watch for free

Comical ChrisComical Chris

Non-Fiction18981 minsSilent Location: Morecambe

Victorian revelry on Morecambe Seafront.

Watch for free

The Derby: Coaches, Etc, Through Epsom TownThe Derby: Coaches, Etc, Through Epsom Town

Non-Fiction18992 minsSilent Location: Epsom

Red letter day for the Victorian horseracing fraternity and the Surrey town.

Watch for free

Early Fashions on Brighton PierEarly Fashions on Brighton Pier

Non-Fiction18981 minsSilent Location: Brighton

An accidental fashion parade as holiday promenaders pass before the camera on Brighton Pier

Watch for free

Feeding the SeagullsFeeding the Seagulls

Non-Fiction18991 minsSilent

Greedy seagulls at Portrush, Northern Ireland

Watch for free

Lady CyclistsLady Cyclists

Interest film18991 minsSilent

A two-wheeled convoy of Victorian gentlewomen in a charming early film enigma.

Currently unavailable

Lady Mostyn Discharging Grain at Irvine (c.1901)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.

Watch for free

Launch of the Filey LifeboatLaunch of the Filey Lifeboat

Non-Fiction19002 mins

On the Yorkshire coast, a Victorian crew launch their lifeboat the old-fashioned way, with a horse-drawn slipway

Watch for free

Manchester Street Scenes (1901)Manchester Street Scenes (1901)

Non-Fiction19014 minsSilent Location: Manchester

A rare glimpse of early Edwardian Manchester when the horse-drawn tram still reigned supreme.

Watch for free

Ribble at Preston (c.1901)Ribble at Preston (c.1901)

Non-Fiction19011 minsSilent Location: Preston

An afternoon's boating in the River Ribble at Edwardian Preston.

Watch for free

Scenes at Chester on the River Dee (1901)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.

Watch for free

Scenes at Egremont Ferry (1901)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.

Watch for free

Scenes at Monument Bridge in Hull (1900)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.

Watch for free

Scenes in a Manchester Park (c.1901)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.

Watch for free

Scenes in Hull (1901)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.

Watch for free

Scenes of Ashton under Lyne (1901)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.

Watch for free

Scenes of Carlisle (1901)Scenes of Carlisle (1901)

Non-Fiction19012 minsSilent Location: Carlisle

A well dressed crowd emerges from an unknown building and engages with the camera.

Watch for free

Seaham Harbour 1899Seaham Harbour 1899

Non-Fiction18992 minsSilent Location: Seaham

Victorian County Durham celebrates the construction of Seaham Pier in a formal ceremony.

Watch for free

Sedgwick's Bioscope Showfront at Pendlebury Wakes (1901)Sedgwick's Bioscope Showfront at Pendlebury Wakes (1901)

Non-Fiction19012 minsSilent Location: Pendlebury

Outside a fairground cinematograph in Edwardian Lancashire.

Watch for free

Sheep WashingSheep Washing

Amateur film18991 minsSilent Location: Cockermouth

Fancy a dip? Sheep get thrown in at the deep end in this glimpse of late Victorian farming

Watch for free

Snowdrop Ferry at Seacombe (1901)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.

Watch for free

Street Scene - Men with CartStreet Scene - Men with Cart

Comedy18981 minsSilent

The kids are the stars in this early street scene

Watch for free

Street Scene in Boar Lane (Leeds)Street Scene in Boar Lane (Leeds)

Non-Fiction18982 minsSilent Location: Leeds

Busy Leeds traffic

Watch for free

Traction Engine Hauling TimberTraction Engine Hauling Timber

19001 minsSilent

An incidental scene from the Anglo-Boer war, with wagons of timber moved by a steam engine

Watch for free

Trip to Sunny Vale Gardens at Hipperholme (1901)Trip to Sunny Vale Gardens at Hipperholme (1901)

Non-Fiction19017 minsSilent Location: Hipperholme

Summertime laughs and larks at a West Yorkshire pleasure gardens.

Watch for free

Children Dancing with Barrel OrganChildren Dancing with Barrel Organ

Non-Fiction18981 minsSilent

Roll out the barrel organ for some street dance, Victorian style

Watch for free

Children in Front of FactoryChildren in Front of Factory

Non-Fiction19001 minsSilent

Here's looking at you, kids. An early film camera draws in the children in this street scene

Watch for free

Children on Beach 1898Children on Beach 1898

Non-Fiction18981 minsSilent Location: Rhyl

Seaside play at Rhyl - charmingly filmed by Wales' first filmmaker

Watch for free

Horse Drawn TrafficHorse Drawn Traffic

Non-Fiction18960 minsSilent

Peer through a window into late Victorian city life, where pedestrians reclaim the streets

Watch for free

Maypole DanceMaypole Dance

Non-Fiction18981 mins

Early film technology has had a strange effect on the recording of this traditional May Day ritual

Watch for free

Physical Drill: Indian ClubsPhysical Drill: Indian Clubs

Non-Fiction19001 minsSilent Location: Whale Island

Sailors do fashionable exercises at Portsmouth

Watch for free

Playground CricketPlayground Cricket

Non-Fiction19011 mins

The origin of the silly point? An impossibly chaotic backdrop to schoolboy cricket in this early film

Watch for free

Bicycling GroupBicycling Group

Non-Fiction18961 minsSilent

A procession of cyclists approaching the camera down the wide path of a public park

Watch for free

Blackfriars BridgeBlackfriars Bridge

Non-Fiction18961 minsSilent Location: Blackfriars Br

Top-hatted pedestrians and horse-drawn traffic pass over Blackfriars Bridge in London

Watch for free

Boys Mudlarking in RiverBoys Mudlarking in River

Non-Fiction19001 minsSilent

These lads are bound to take a dunk in the Thames

Watch for free

Train TunnelTrain Tunnel

Non-Fiction18980 minsSilent

A view out of a railway tunnel, which could have formed part of a longer ‘phantom ride’ film.

Watch for free

Street Scene in unidentified European cityStreet Scene in unidentified European city

Non-Fiction18961 minsSilent

Few clues to who shot these Victorian scenes on an unknown bridge, and where.

Watch for free

Shipping on the ThamesShipping on the Thames

Non-Fiction18981 minsSilent

Filmed by Rotherhithe, this film provides a glimpse into Victorian working life on the Thames.

Watch for free

Circus ParadeCircus Parade

Non-Fiction19002 mins

Roll up, roll up! An outlandish circus parade wows the streets of Victorian Huddersfield

Watch for free

Town Moor Fair ScenesTown 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

Watch for free

View from an Engine Front - Train Leaving TunnelView from an Engine Front - Train Leaving Tunnel

Non-Fiction18991 mins

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

Watch for free

Southport Pier 1899Southport Pier 1899

Non-Fiction19051 mins Location: Southport

When you're on a pier this long, you can be forgiven for taking public transport

Watch for free

Yarmouth Fishing Boats Leaving HarbourYarmouth Fishing Boats Leaving Harbour

Non-Fiction18961 minsSilent

A lively Victorian harbour scene, destined for a royal viewing

Watch for free

View from an Engine Front - IlfracombeView from an Engine Front - Ilfracombe

Non-Fiction18984 minsSilent

A Victorian train trip through the Devonian countryside and into the famous seaside town.