Explore the fascinating world of the Victorian judges at this award-winning historic house.

Judge's wig

For the first time ever, The Judge's Lodging is opening for the February Half Term holiday (15th-23rd Feb  Tues-Sun , 10.30-4.30).

Join us for fun with toys, the usual gas-lit experience or even a cuppa and cake in the pop-up tearoom.

We will then close our doors again until 1st April 2020. We're still here though, so if you are a school or group (10+), you can still book with us - just get in touch via email or phone.  Just call or email us too to grab your tickets for our Edward Lear evening.

01544 260650   info@judgeslodging.org.uk


 Explore our 2020 leaflet here

 Discover the 'upstairs, downstairs' life of the Victorian Judges, their servants and felonious guests.

 Once called ‘the most commodious and elegant apartments for a judge in all England and Wales' (Lord Chief Justice Campbell, 1855), decay beckoned Radnorshire's disused Shire Hall into obscurity. Now, aided by an interior hardly touched by time and original furnishings discarded in attics, extensive research and restoration has re-awakened this ‘Victorian fossil'.

judge's wig

From the stunningly restored judge's apartments to the dingy servants' quarters below you can explore their gaslit world. Damp cells remind you of the building's true purpose, along with the vast courtroom where your imagination in captured by the echoing trial of William Morgan, local duck thief.

Visitors to the building are accompanied by an eavesdropping audiotour of voices from the past; you will hear their tale, from Mary the hardworking maid, to Reverend Richard Lister Venables, Chairman of the Magistrates and employer of the famous diarist Francis Kilvert, portrayed by actor Robert Hardy.

You can hear excerpts from our fabulous character audiotour, including Robert Hardy, along with an interview with Historical Consultant, Dr Charles Kightly here  (this will open in the Media Player you use).

Click here to take a quick tour of some of the fascinating rooms.

An historic house with a difference, our total ‘hands-on' policy allows you to actually sit in the judge's chair, study his books, even pump water in the kitchen (although we would rather you did not use the commodes!).


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Site photography: Judge's Lodging staff, Phil Lane of Borderphoto, Alex Ramsay


Forthcoming Events

Strange But True

  • list arrowThere's nothing like a nice private shower!

    Having a shower in Victorian times meant a line of maids passing water up a ladder to the final one who poured it over your head whilst you stood in your metal frame or tent contraption - you can see one at Erdigg, an historic house near Wrexham, North Wales.


Historical Handy Hints