(Above) The heritage of West Yorkshire will take precedence alongside the exotic displays the Bagshaw Museum is famous for when it re-opens in October 2009
The Bagshaw Museum, Walter Bagshaw's early 20th century Gothic mansion of mythical beasts, tombs and decorative arts from around the world, is set to re-open later this month following a two-year closure for a round of dramatic improvements to the 36-acre site costing more than £700,000.
Refurbishments including new décor, restored floors, a wheelchair lift and new gallery spaces with two rooms dedicated to its West Yorkshire home of Batley will be unveiled to the public on October 25 2009.
Beetles and fellow creatures from the natural world will be on display
The Heritage Lottery Fund (£419,500) and Kirklees Council (£300,000) have paid for the works at the Museum, which attracted 45,000 visitors each year before it closed.
"This huge project is now reaching its climax," said Councillor Mary Walton, Kirklees Cabinet Member for Culture and Leisure, as she watched staff putting the finishing touches to displays.
Female rag sorters in West Yorkshire at the start of the 20th century
"We have had a large number of enquiries about when the Museum will be reopening. I am sure when people see inside, they will not be disappointed."
A new Spirit of South Asia display aims to transport visitors to a modern city courtyard and traditional village home on the other side of the world, and the Billiard Room presents a first chance to see several Victorian paintings from the Kirklees Collection. The new Temporary Exhibition Gallery hosts a collection of saucy seaside postcards.
The local rugby team managed to win a place in local history as well as the cup in consecutive seasons between 1897 and 1901
Costumed characters and a specially created textile hanging will greet visitors on the opening Sunday, followed by family activities throughout half-term week.
Open 11am-4pm on October 25, then 11am-5pm (12pm-5pm Saturday and Sunday).