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
The Derby 1896
Watch for free

The Derby 1896

Sport18960 minsSilent

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

Feeding the Tigers
Watch for free

Feeding the Tigers

Interest film18991 minsSilent

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

H.M.S. Powerful Moored at Portsmouth
Watch for free

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

Beach Scene
Watch for free

Beach Scene

Non-Fiction18971 minsSilent

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

Beagles
Watch for free

Beagles

Amateur film18982 minsSilent

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

Belfast Street Scenes 1890's
Watch for free

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 Playing in Snow
Watch for free

Boys Playing in Snow

Non-Fiction19001 minsSilent

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

Boys Scrambling for Pennies
Watch for free

Boys 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.

Boys Sliding
Watch for free

Boys Sliding

Non-Fiction19001 minsSilent

Snow fun: schoolboy japes brighten a wintry Victorian day.

Coaches and Huntsman
Watch for free

Coaches and Huntsman

Non-Fiction19000 minsSilent

An illustration of horsemanship straight out of a Victorian novel

Diving at Port Skillion, Isle of Man
Watch for free

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
Watch for free

Drive 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

Early British Loco - C.1900
Watch for free

Early British Loco - C.1900

Non-Fiction19001 minsSilent

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

Factory Workers
Watch for free

Factory Workers

Non-Fiction19003 minsSilent

The daily exodus of Victorian factory workers - but where?

First Film of Blackpool
Watch for free

First Film of Blackpool

Non-Fiction18993 minsSilent Location: Blackpool

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

A Game of Snowballing
Watch for free

A Game of Snowballing

Comedy18992 minsSilent

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

Highland Reel
Watch for free

Highland Reel

Interest film18991 minsSilent

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

Horse-drawn Traffic in Seven Sisters Rd
Watch for free

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
Watch for free

Horse-drawn Traffic Viewed from Elevated Position

Non-Fiction18981 minsSilent Location: King's Cross Sta

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

Hunting Scene
Watch for free

Hunting Scene

Non-Fiction18971 minsSilent

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

Hyde Park Corner
Watch for free

Hyde Park Corner

Non-Fiction18961 minsSilent

Very early film of the busy junction

Iron Foundry Workers
Watch for free

Iron Foundry Workers

Industry sponsored film19001 minsSilent

Death-defying iron workers

Jack's Game of Cricket on Board H.M.S. Gibraltar
Watch for free

Jack'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

May-Day
Watch for free

May-Day

Amateur film18991 minsSilent Location: Cockermouth

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

Men, Women and Dog
Watch for free

Men, Women and Dog

Interest film19001 minsSilent

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

Open-air Pig Auction
Watch for free

Open-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

Salvaging a Steamroller
Watch for free

Salvaging a Steamroller

Non-Fiction19002 mins

A hapless fairground engine is rescued from a ditch

Snowballing
Watch for free

Snowballing

18990 minsSilent

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

Storm at Sandown I.O.W.
Watch for free

Storm at Sandown I.O.W.

Non-Fiction19001 mins Location: Sandown

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

Switchback Railway
Watch for free

Switchback Railway

Non-Fiction18981 minsSilent

Fairground visitors enjoy a bumpy ride.

Train Entering Hove Station
Watch for free

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

Train Station
Watch for free

Train Station

Non-Fiction18991 minsSilent Location: Cockermouth

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

Vinolia Soap
Watch for free

Vinolia Soap

Advert18981 minsSilent

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

W.G. Grace Filoscope Film
Watch for free

W.G. Grace Filoscope Film

Non-Fiction18990 minsSilent

Two cricketing legends captured on an early home movie device

Workers Leave a Factory
Watch for free

Workers Leave a Factory

Non-Fiction19001 mins

Subject: factory gate. Location: unknown...

Workers Leaving Work at Vickers
Watch for free

Workers Leaving Work at Vickers

Non-Fiction19001 mins Location: Barrow-In-Furness

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

A Wreck in a Gale
Watch for free

A 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

Boys' Cricket Match and Fight
Watch for free

Boys' Cricket Match and Fight

Comedy19002 minsSilent

A rambunctious local scene

Coolie Boys Diving for Coins
Watch for free

Coolie Boys Diving for Coins

Non-Fiction19001 minsSilent

Local boys in Singapore harbour

Deck and Rigging of a Sailing Ship
Watch for free

Deck and Rigging of a Sailing Ship

Non-Fiction19001 minsSilent

Visually striking Victorian interest film

The Derby 1895
Watch for free

The Derby 1895

Sport18951 minsSilent

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

Five Large Yachts Sailing
Watch for free

Five Large Yachts Sailing

Non-Fiction19001 minsSilent

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

Haggars Bioscope Camera
Watch for free

Haggars Bioscope Camera

19001 minsSilent

A bit of publicity for a Welsh film pioneer

Jethart's Here
Watch for free

Jethart's Here

Non-Fiction19284 minsSilent Location: Jedburgh

A big celebration in Jedburgh, in the Scottish Borders

Leap Frog
Watch for free

Leap Frog

Non-Fiction19001 minsSilent

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

People passing through Gate
Watch for free

People passing through Gate

Non-Fiction19012 mins

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

Arthur Mold Bowling to A.N. Hornby (1901)
Watch for free

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.

Bradford Town Hall Square
Watch for free

Bradford Town Hall Square

Non-Fiction18962 minsSilent Location: Bradford

The earliest surviving footage of bustling Victorian Bradford.

Children Leaving Tyldesley Catholic School, Lodge Road (1901)
Watch for free

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.

Children playing with skipping rope
Watch for free

Children playing with skipping rope

Non-Fiction18961 minsSilent

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

Comical Chris
Watch for free

Comical Chris

Non-Fiction18981 minsSilent Location: Morecambe

Victorian revelry on Morecambe Seafront.

The Derby: Coaches, Etc, Through Epsom Town
Watch for free

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
Watch for free

Early Fashions on Brighton Pier

Non-Fiction18981 minsSilent Location: Brighton

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

Feeding the Seagulls
Watch for free

Feeding the Seagulls

Non-Fiction18991 minsSilent

Greedy seagulls at Portrush, Northern Ireland

Lady Cyclists
Watch for free

Lady Cyclists

Interest film18991 minsSilent

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

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

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
Watch for free

Launch 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

Manchester Street Scenes (1901)
Watch for free

Manchester Street Scenes (1901)

Non-Fiction19014 minsSilent Location: Manchester

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

Ribble at Preston (c.1901)
Watch for free

Ribble at Preston (c.1901)

Non-Fiction19011 minsSilent Location: Preston

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

Scenes at Chester on the River Dee (1901)
Watch for free

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)
Watch for free

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)
Watch for free

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)
Watch for free

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)
Watch for free

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)
Watch for free

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.

Scenes of Carlisle (1901)
Watch for free

Scenes of Carlisle (1901)

Non-Fiction19012 minsSilent Location: Carlisle

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

Seaham Harbour 1899
Watch for free

Seaham Harbour 1899

Non-Fiction18992 minsSilent Location: Seaham

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

Sedgwick's Bioscope Showfront at Pendlebury Wakes (1901)
Watch for free

Sedgwick's Bioscope Showfront at Pendlebury Wakes (1901)

Non-Fiction19012 minsSilent Location: Pendlebury

Outside a fairground cinematograph in Edwardian Lancashire.

Sheep Washing
Watch for free

Sheep Washing

Amateur film18991 minsSilent Location: Cockermouth

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

Snowdrop Ferry at Seacombe (1901)
Watch for free

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.

Street Scene - Men with Cart
Watch for free

Street Scene - Men with Cart

Comedy18981 minsSilent

The kids are the stars in this early street scene

Street Scene in Boar Lane (Leeds)
Watch for free

Street Scene in Boar Lane (Leeds)

Non-Fiction18982 minsSilent Location: Leeds

Busy Leeds traffic

Traction Engine Hauling Timber
Watch for free

Traction Engine Hauling Timber

19001 minsSilent

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

Trip to Sunny Vale Gardens at Hipperholme (1901)
Watch for free

Trip to Sunny Vale Gardens at Hipperholme (1901)

Non-Fiction19017 minsSilent Location: Hipperholme

Summertime laughs and larks at a West Yorkshire pleasure gardens.

Children Dancing with Barrel Organ
Watch for free

Children Dancing with Barrel Organ

Non-Fiction18981 minsSilent

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

Children in Front of Factory
Watch for free

Children 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

Children on Beach 1898
Watch for free

Children on Beach 1898

Non-Fiction18981 minsSilent Location: Rhyl

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

Horse Drawn Traffic
Watch for free

Horse Drawn Traffic

Non-Fiction18960 minsSilent

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

Maypole Dance
Watch for free

Maypole Dance

Non-Fiction18981 mins

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

Physical Drill: Indian Clubs
Watch for free

Physical Drill: Indian Clubs

Non-Fiction19001 minsSilent Location: Whale Island

Sailors do fashionable exercises at Portsmouth

Playground Cricket
Watch for free

Playground Cricket

Non-Fiction19011 mins

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

Bicycling Group
Watch for free

Bicycling Group

Non-Fiction18961 minsSilent

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

Blackfriars Bridge
Watch for free

Blackfriars Bridge

Non-Fiction18961 minsSilent Location: Blackfriars Br

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

Boys Mudlarking in River
Watch for free

Boys Mudlarking in River

Non-Fiction19001 minsSilent

These lads are bound to take a dunk in the Thames

Train Tunnel
Watch for free

Train Tunnel

Non-Fiction18980 minsSilent

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

Street Scene in unidentified European city
Watch for free

Street Scene in unidentified European city

Non-Fiction18961 minsSilent

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

Shipping on the Thames
Watch for free

Shipping on the Thames

Non-Fiction18981 minsSilent

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

Circus Parade
Watch for free

Circus Parade

Non-Fiction19002 mins

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

Town Moor Fair Scenes
Watch for free

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
Watch for free

View 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

Southport Pier 1899
Watch for free

Southport Pier 1899

Non-Fiction19051 mins Location: Southport

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

Yarmouth Fishing Boats Leaving Harbour
Watch for free

Yarmouth Fishing Boats Leaving Harbour

Non-Fiction18961 minsSilent

A lively Victorian harbour scene, destined for a royal viewing

View from an Engine Front - Ilfracombe
Watch for free

View from an Engine Front - Ilfracombe

Non-Fiction18984 minsSilent

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