Heritage100

1898 Wedding Cake

1898 Wedding Cake

..the oldest wedding cake in the world..?

This ornate wedding cake was made in 1898 soon after Mr and Mrs Charles Philpott moved from Kent to 22 Potters Lane in Basingstoke where they opened their bakery ‘C.H. Philpott, Baker and Confectioner’.

The cake was displayed in the shop window until the bakery closed in 1964 at which time it was moved to the loft.

It was offered to Hampshire County Council Museums Service in 1995 by Ruby Philpott, the baker’s daughter.

There is a crack in the icing caused by the vibrations from bombs dropped on Basingstoke in August 1940. Otherwise the cake is in remarkably good condition and the cake itself, a traditional rich fruit cake, remains moist.

Quick Facts

  • Date made 1898
  • Made by C.H. Philpott, Baker and Confectioner
  • Made at 22 Potters Lane, Basingstoke
  • Accession Number HMCMS:SH1995.612

Facts

  • The Hampshire County Council Museum Service’s conservation team have stabilised the cake using an acetone based consolidant injected into the cake. A flap of loose icing was adhered and held in place until dry. It was then necessary to dry the cake out as much as possible using packets of silica gel placed under the dome. Now it is constantly monitored to ensure that it remains ‘the oldest wedding cake in the world’ – possibly?

Did you know?

The pale brown colour has resulted from sugar seeping from the fruit cake into the icing.

Fact Sheets

 

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