Our latest Curiosity of the Week is a wonderful little museum in Cockermouth, Cumbria. This hidden gem can be found in the traditional hardware store, J.B. Banks and Son in Market Place.
Step behind the traditional shop facade, and you will take a journey through time going back as far as the 1820s. Delve through a myriad of interesting objects as the Heritage Museum brings the past to life, from the well and mangle, through to the office containing old typewriters, it’s a fascinating glimpse into another time.
The highlight is perhaps the workshop, which contains a wealth of traditional tools and an old fashioned work bench, providing a genuine look into history. With the tools placed in situ, it’s rather like the owners have just laid them down and gone home for the day.
The shop and museum together create a unique business. Inside the shop, carriage lamps jostle on the ceiling with old poachers’ paraphernalia, and items from the museum have even featured on The Antiques Roadshow.
The shop sells all sorts of traditional hardware, from gate latches to kitchen enamelware. It also contains a wide variety of quality second-hand tools, all checked and sharpened before sale.
Spread over two floors, the museum is free to visit and suitable for all ages. The museum has digital photographs and comfy leather chairs available for those who may be unable to get upstairs. Downstairs can accommodate small mobility scooters, wheelchairs and pushchairs.
If you would like to visit, the museum is open 9am to 4pm, Monday to Saturday. The shop is open 9am to 5pm, Monday to Saturday.
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We are always on the lookout for interesting customs, hidden places, and unique buildings and landmarks, to share with our readers.