The Toys Are Back In Town At Sudbury Hall Museum Of Childhood

By 24 Hour Museum Staff | 27 March 2008
a photograph of two children smiling beside a display case

The new galleries at the Museum of Childhood include interactives for people of all ages. © National Trust

The National Trust’s Museum of Childhood, at Sudbury Hall in Derbyshire, re-opens today (Friday March 28) after a massive £2.2 million transformation.

Now bigger and more spectacular than ever, the museum provides children and adults with the chance to compare and discover childhood experiences from the 19th century to the present day.

“This is an exciting time for all of the staff and volunteers involved with the expansion of the museum,” said Lesley Law, National Trust property manager of Sudbury Hall and the Museum of Childhood.

“Throughout the project we’ve placed people at the centre of our plans and have involved many groups in helping us to shape how the museum will look. We’re really looking forward to welcoming back visitors of all ages to share our bigger and better museum.”

a photograph of a young boy and older woman standing before a painting depicting a large spiral staircase

The Museum of Childhood is at the National Trust’s Sudbury Hall in Derbyshire. © National Trust

The museum has increased in size by 50% and been transformed into eight new galleries whose themes include outdoor adventure, work, home, school, babies, toys, stories and imagination. The new galleries include interactives for people of all ages, including ‘have a go’ areas, film clips, audio memories, voting cards and dozens of multi-sensory activities.

Among the new displays are 'slices' of three bedrooms from different eras, suspended from the ceiling; a recreation of a mine tunnel; a reconstructed kitchen scullery; a Victorian schoolroom; and a 'chimney climb' for children to experience the life of a chimney sweep.

There are also hundreds of items from the Betty Cadbury Collection of Playthings Past, a fascinating ensemble of objects from the 4th century to the 21st century including dolls, teddy bears and optical toys.

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