The Judge's Lodging / Llety'r Barnwr

Tel: 01544 260650/1

The dining room - 'Upstairs' The Judge's Lodging at Presteigne (Llanandras) right on the border between England and Wales has been preserved and restored for the visitor, giving a unique opportunity to revisit the days when Victorian judges 'held court' here under the same roof as the 'commodious and elegant apartments' in which they stayed while dispensing justice.

Upstairs are the judges' well furnished lodging rooms and the vast courtroom; downstairs are the servants' hall and kitchen, as well as the cells in which prisoners were kept while awaiting trial.

The building - formerly the Shire Hall - played a pivotal role in the life of Victorian Presteigne, which was then the county town of Radnorshire. Then, with the years, its identity lost, decay beckoned the once grand building into obscurity.

The servants' hall - 'Downstairs' But fortunately it was realised that this 'Victorian fossil' could be revived, thanks to a period interior hardly touched by time, and original furnishings discarded in the attics.

Today you can again savour the mid Victorian heyday of this most unusual household - by gaslight, lamp and candle!

From courtroom to kitchen, parlour to pantry, the trappings of the 1870s are all around - from the Judge's chair to his chamberpot. Visitors are accompanies by an 'eavesdropping' Audiotour of voices from the past as, room by room, once-closed doors open to reveal an inside story with a difference.

You will hear their tale from Mary, the hardworking maid, to the Reverend Richard Lister Venables - chairman of the magistrates and employer of the famous diarist Francis Kilvert - portrayed by actor Robert Hardy.

The Judge's Lodging in Presteigne, the historic town set amidst the lovely unspoilt countryside of the Welsh Marches, also houses the Tourist Information Centre and a permanent exhibition Neither Wales Nor England telling the history of the Radnor Borders region.

The Judge's Lodging won the Interpret Britain Award from the Society for the Interpretation of Britain's Heritage in 1998 and was named as Local Museum of the Year by the Good Guide to Britain in 1999.

More information

For more information, please call us on Tel: 01544 260650/1 (Fax: 01544 260652) or write to us at The Judge's Lodging, Broad Street, Presteigne, Powys, Mid Wales LD8 2AD.
This page is part of the West and Wales Web