Here, you can see the 6th unreconstructed cottage at the front of the museum.



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Saving the Old House in the 1950s

Some of the cottages into which the Old House was divided were condemned by the Council as slums and were going to be demolished.

After most of the tenants were re-housed, a local builder called Charles Bradbury discovered three historical features: the wattle and daub wall, the Tudor cupboard, which was part of a room divider, and the great fireplace, which had been walled off as a pantry.

The owner’s agent, John Marchant Brooks, campaigned to save the building and eventually the Council agreed.

In 1954, he and others formed the Bakewell and District Historical Society. This photo shows Members in front of the great fireplace with Charles Bradbury in the centre. They persuaded the owners, Bernard Harrison and his sister Violet, to give the Old House to the Society.

After a great deal of fundraising and work by Members, the first room of the museum was opened in 1959.

This shows the ceremony, with John Marchant Brookes, the Vicar, and Violet Harrison, who continued to live at the far end of the house until that became part of the museum in 1966.

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