Cumbria’s Windermere Steamboat Museum is one of five UK heritage sites to receive a share of £52m from the Heritage Lottery Fund. Another lucky recipient is the Geffrye Museum in London, famous for its unique collection of Victorian dining chairs, antique desks and other furniture, displayed in room sets representing 400 years of urban history.
The Steamboat Museum, which will eventually receive £7.4m, doesn’t have any 17th century antique dining tables or Victorian balloon back dining chairs , but Cumbria should count itself fortunate. Apart from Hastings pier on the South East coast, it was the only site outside London to receive any funding at all. However, few residents in the North West will begrudge the Geffrye Museum its lottery win, in full worth £10.9m. The money will help fund a full overhaul of the fascinating site, which regularly attracts visitors from Cumbria and Lancashire.
You don’t have to travel to London from Preston to see the antique desk of the 1695 parlour, or the Victorian balloon backed dining chairs of the 1870 drawing room. The Geffrye Museum has an award-winning website where you can take virtual tours of all 11 rooms, as well as read up on furniture history and perform searches for items not on general display to the public – such as the Cotton Collection of English regional chairs, which includes Victorian dining chairs of Lancashire origin.
The Geffrye Museum is a fascinating site from which to get period décor ideas for your home too. Pick a period, and then visit your local antique dealer in Preston for an antique mahogany pedestal desk to match.
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