Winner of Britain’s Best Hidden Gem in the Hudson’s Heritage Awards 2014. When the Judge’s Lodging closed its doors at the end of the 2013 season, it had no idea just how exciting the following few months would be…
The beautiful gas-lit kitchen in its Victorian judges’ accommodation became the star of BBC’s Food & Drink Christmas Special, with historian Lucy Worsley exploring the art of Victorian jelly-making, whilst the lavishly illustrated reprint of well-known author Bill Bryson’s book, A Short History of Private Lives, used a full page illustration of the room as the heading to his chapter on the history of kitchens.
If that wasn’t enough excitement, 2014 kicked off with the museum being visited by HRH Prince of Wales, who found it a an atmospheric and ‘truly inspirational’ place. This was swiftly followed by it winning Britain’s Best Hidden Gem in the Hudson’s Heritage Awards 2014 at a ceremony at Goldsmith’s Hall, London, where it was presented by celebrity hosts Loyd Grossman and Lucinda Lambton.
You really do need to see for yourself what all the fuss is over this exceptional courthouse in the tiny Welsh border town of Presteigne.
The Judge’s Lodging has long had a reputation for liking the quirkier side of history, so a visit to the museum will treat you to all sorts of fascinating insights into Victorian living, from jelly-making and napkin folding to toilet habits and household maintenance hints.
A visit to this historic judge’s accommodation and court offers a most unusual journey back in time. Wander through the judge’s private apartments and make yourself at home, for The Judge’s Lodging an historic house with a difference – you can touch! You can lie on the beds, read the judge’s books and even pump water in the kitchen. Below stairs there is the full range of servants’ rooms to explore, with kitchens, sleeping quarters and workrooms; a whole gaslit world to discover. The tour is finished by a trip to the vast echoing courtroom, where you are haunted by the echoes of trials long since concluded. You are guided through this Victorian world by an eavesdropping’ audiotour featuring the voice of actor Robert Hardy.
If you have children to entertain, you don’t have to worry about being told off every time they move, because the building is family-friendly. They have their own activities and guidebook to help them explore … and now is a perfect time for them to experience all this, as the museum has just made its admission for children even cheaper!
If you have a group looking for a really different visit, there are all sorts of pre-bookable tours available, including the yummy ‘Ice-Cream & Jelly for Grown Ups’ and festive Victorian Christmas experience. Just call to book.
Interactive ‘Life Below Stairs’ days are available for Key Stage 1 & 2 school visits. Costumed guides available for Key Stage 3 and other educational groups. Special topic sessions are available throughout the year, including Victorian Christmas.
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Concession £6.50 Disabled visitors free
From the junction of the A5/A49 (S) Shrewsbury Take the A49 south towards Ludlow. Before Ludlow turn right on to the A4113 and follow the road to Knighton. Take the B4355 south to Presteigne and finish at The Judges Lodgings.