image for Museum item typeThe Judge’s Lodging


Lucy Worsley at The Judge's Lodging

Lucy Worsley at The Judge's Lodging

Visit Herefordshire. Later.

COVID-19 Coronavirus information: please do not visit Herefordshire at this time and avoid all unnecessary travel. Following these guidelines will help save lives.

We look forward to welcoming you back in future, but for now let’s all #staysafe


Broad Street,


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

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!.

Opening details

Opening Times:
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



See location of The Judge’s Lodging on Google mapsSee location on Google maps

Map reference: SO 314644  Lat: 52.27369 Long: -3.00561

Located in the town centre of Presteigne off the B4362. Easy access from A49 or A44