Kinross Governess Carts

N. Ireland N. Ireland Scotland Scotland Reading Stirling

This smart Kinross Governess Cart is held in an Irish private collection.  Look at those smart carriage lamps.  The full elliptic springs are outside the tub to lower the centre of gravity; compare them with the triple springs under the body on the Ralli Car or on the Square Gig.

Photograph Copyright © 2003 of Eugene Larkin, Carriage Restorer

This Governess Cart is also in Northern Ireland.  The governess cart was designed for carrying small children to school so it has high sides and a low down door handle on the outside to keep them in.  The axle is cranked and the shafts are outside the tub to give a low centre of gravity for stability and it has a low rear step to enable the small children to get in.

Kinross Governess Cart
Kinross Governess Cart.

This Governess Cart is currently locked away in the storerooms of the National Museums of Scotland.  It looks in almost original condition, with all the original upholstery carefully stored in protective white bags.  It was purchased along with the Break from the Scotmid carriage collection when their Edinburgh Coach Works closed in 1993.  The wheels do not have Kinross hubcaps.

Kinross Governess Cart March 2006
Kinross Governess Cart March 2006.

This 1907 Governess Cart originally belonged to the late Mr George Findlay of Scotland and was regularly exhibited at the Scottish Transport Extravaganza at Glamis Castle.  This one has no front spring, but it does have smart leather upholstery and a well behaved passenger.

Kinross Governess Cart 2006 Mr George Findlay Mr George Findlay's Governess Cart

This Governess Cart was sold for £600 at the Thimbleby & Shorland Reading Carriage Sale on 9th May 2007.  It is not known where it is now.  Lot 61 in the auction catalogue was described as follows:

“GOVERNESS CAR by William Kinross & Sons of Stirling cir 1900 to suit a 12-2 to 13-2 hh; finished in varnished natural wood with gold lining and black leather cushions.  A fine example by an excellent builder, which is in good original condition.”

Kinross Governess Cart May 2007
Kinross Governess Cart at the Reading Carriage Sales, 9 May 2007.

This vehicle is similar to the second Northern Island vehicle, but it has straight sides and 12 spoke wheels.  The maker's label says supplied by rather than built by Wm. Kinross & Sons like the governess cart held in the National Museum of Scotland.  It looks later than 1900.

The Stirling Smith Art Gallery & Museum has this Kinross Governess Cart on display.  The front has large crack showing that it has seen some use.  The triple springs are different from the other Governess Carts and are similar to the Ralli Cars.

Kinross Governess Cart
Seat cushions Wm Kinross & Sons Stirling Undercarriage