There are 2 main collections on display at the Judges’ Lodgings. The first is a fine collection of Gillow furniture which shows the brilliance of the Gillow craftsmen – from the imposing double fronted library table and unique chamber barrel organ to the impressive full size billiard table and elegant Carlton House desk there is something of interest for everybody. A lot of the furniture on display was made specifically for the Judges’ Lodgings, including the commode disguised as a set of drawers, the half tester bed,the huge dining table and other dining room accessories.Other pieces of furniture have been purchased specifically for the rooms they now grace with the help of the NACF, V&A Purchase Fund, HLF and other funding bodies.
There are a number of portraits on display of members of various prominent Lancaster families. Many of the families were connected through marriage and had interests in similar areas of trade and commerce both in Lancaster and abroad. There are also important paintings showing life in and around Lancaster during the 18th and 19th centuries.
The second collection can be seen in the Museum of Childhood, which displays an enchanting array of toys and games from the 1700s to the present day. Experience the Edwardian schoolroom where you can play at being the teacher and have hands on fun with reproduction toys and games. Take a trip down memory lane in our newly refurbished childhood gallery looking at dolls, trains, Noah’s Arks and teddy bears from 1770 through World War I and II and right up to 2006. Many of the dolls and dolls houses on display are part of the Barry Elder collection, which came to the museum in 1980. Many of the objects on display have been kindly donated by members of the public over the years and have allowed us to build up this amazing collection of childhood memorabilia for visitors to enjoy and remember.