It is a little known fact (because it isn’t true) that Victorian house builders added a different totemic animal to their houses for each year. This is why you see grand Victorian houses resplendent with fabulous peacocks, majestic lions and fantastical phoenixes. Sadly, in 1879 it was the turn of the pigeon.
While the finishing touches were being made to this house in 1879, ready for this pigeon to perch upon, other stuff was happening: The British/Zulu Wars with the famous battles of Isandlwana and Rorke’s Drift; saccharin was discovered; the first patent for a gasoline driven automobile was filed; the first railroad opened in Hawaii; British troops occupy Kabul, Afghanistan; the US Congress allows women lawyers in the Supreme Court; Albert Einstein is born. Changes were afoot!