The Judge’s Lodging
The Judge’s Lodging
Step into the 1870s at the award-winning Judge’s Lodging and discover the world of a most unusual household.
Explore the ‘upstairs, downstairs’ life of the Victorian Judges, their servants and felonious guests at this totally hands-on historic house – the Judges Lodging. Visit the stunningly restored Judge’s apartment aided by an ‘eavesdropping’ audio-tour featuring Robert Hardy. Damp cells and vast courtroom included!
Best Hidden Gem in the Hudson’s Heritage Awards 2014. Do come and see what all the fuss is about!
Visitors to the building are accompanied by an eavesdropping audiotour of voices from the past; you will hear their tale, from Mary the hardworking maid, to Reverend Richard Lister Venables, Chairman of the Magistrates and employer of the famous diarist Francis Kilvert, portrayed by actor Robert Hardy.
The SAVE Britain’s Heritage organisation also called it ‘ the most remarkable survivor of all UK court buildings’ and as setting a model for preservation in its recent survey on the future of Britain’s law courts. There is a souvenir guidebook charting the history of the building and its restoration and there are monthly events ranging from kids’ fun days and local history lectures to courtroom dramatisations and Victorian dinners, keep an eye on the website www.judgeslodging.org.uk
The judge’s apartments themselves have been stunningly restored, along with the gaslit servants’ quarters and vast echoing courtroom, where you are haunted by the echoes of trials long since concluded. If you have children to entertain, you don’t have to worry about being told off every time they move because the building has a ‘hands-on’ policy – you can lie on the beds, read the judge’s books and even pump water in the kitchen. There are activity chests around the building for kids to explore, plus their very own guide book which tells of some of the stranger (and grosser) aspects of Victorian life, with , of course, a large helping of ‘toilets and pants’ talk!.
March to October: Tuesday to Sunday & Bank Holiday Mondays 10am – 5pm
November: Wednesday to Sunday 10am – 4pm
December: Saturday & Sunday 10am – 4pm
Closed 23 December to 28 February
Open by prior arrangement for groups at any time, including evenings.
Adult £7.95, Child £3.95, Concession, £6.95, Family £21.50