Alford Manor House Museum
Alford Manor House Museum
A beautiful thatched manor built in the 17th century contains period Georgian and Victorian rooms. Outside, the barn houses a museum with displays on local history, and recreations of period scenes, including a cobbler's shop and a chemist's.
Alford Manor is thought to be the largest thatched manor house in the country. The manor was built in 1611 to a traditional H-plan for John Hopkinson. The property eventually passed to Sir Robert Christopher, a Royalist supporter in the Civil War. When Charles II was restored to the throne in 1660 he rewarded Christopher with a knighthood. Christopher founded almshouses for the local poor, and created an imposing tomb for himself and his wife in the nearby church of St Wilfrid.

The architecture is not all that it seems; inside is a simple timber structure infilled with reed and plaster, then the entire building is encased in an outer layer of brick, presumably to give it a more fashionable appearance, but also to reinforce the traditional timber and wattle shell. This unusual composite construction technique makes Alford Manor one of the most important historic buildings in Britain.

The lower two floors are given over to the period room recreations, from the Georgian period to the Victorian, while the top floor has been left untouched, and is in its original 1611 state.

Behind the house are extensive gardens, including an ancient orchard, apothecary's garden, an herb wall, herbaceous borders, and kitchen gardens.

Behind the house is the Hackett Barn Museum, with displays of local history housed in a stone and timber barn. Within the museum are several examples of historic machinery, including a manpowered wheelwright's lathe. See a carpenter's chest with its full compliment of woodworking tools, a covered Victorian hearse, a recreated bootmaker's shop, and a pharmacy display made up of samples from an old chemist's shop.