Antique dining tables , Open Bookcases and Victorian balloon back dining chairs – all these and more can be found at Preston Manor, with the opportunity to take a “behind the scenes” tour on specific dates.
You’ll need to travel a fair distance from the Ribble Valley to see the antique cabinets of Preston Manor, which despite its name is actually in the coastal city of Brighton-and-Hove, East Sussex. Best known for its fabulous Royal Pavilion, Brighton is an elegant Regency town just 53 miles from London – it has even been dubbed London-by-the-sea. This, plus its endless list of cultural attractions, makes it the ideal resort for a heritage break.
Preston Manor was originally the mediaeval manor house of the village of Preston, which vanished as Brighton grew. The 13th Century building was rebuilt in 1738, although traces of the older structure remain – along with a few ghosts, as it is supposedly one of the most haunted buildings in England. Occupied by the Stanford family from the late 1700s, the house was bequeathed to the corporation of Brighton in 1933, becoming a museum dedicated to Edwardian family life.
Today, the twenty odd rooms still evoke that “Upstairs Downstairs” feel and on selected dates from 10th August, visitors from Lancashire can look beyond the antique marquetry furniture and fine artworks, and take a fascinating peek at the secret staircases and bedrooms behind the doors marked “Private.”
There is one way you can bring the antique chests and Victorian balloon back dining chairs of Preston into your home – by visiting the antique dealers of its Lancashire namesake.
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