Our Latest Project: The Black and White House, Hereford

Working with the Herefordshire Museum Service, we've just finished our latest project---the reinterpretation and refurnishing of the Black and White House Museum (aka 'the Old House') in the centre of Hereford.

A grand timber-framed town house built in 1621, it has been a museum since 1928, but was in need of a facelift to make it more welcoming and 'hands-on' for 21st century visitors.

 

Our main task was to recreate several of the principal rooms as they might have appeared at the time of the English Civil War. We did this using colourful and carefully-researched wall-hangings, and replica furniture which could be tried out by visitors. The rooms included the Dining Parlour, where hangings tailored by Lisa Herbert complemented the existing antique furniture and a complete set of replica tableware supplied by us.

Credit: photo Keith James 

In the New Bedchamber, the replica furniture made by Paul Northwood included an 'interactive' four-poster and a truckle bed to slide beneath it. Both beds have full sets of bedclothes, and visitors are invited to try them out.

Credit: photo Keith James

But everybody's favourite was the Small Bedchamber, with its complete set of replica 'painted cloths' telling the Biblical story of the Prodigal Son--a frequently-recorded subject of 17th century painted cloths. Painted by Bim Hopewell and designed by Anthony Barton, they are closely based on a series of contemporary wall-paintings of the story. We believe they may be the only set of replica figurative painted cloths produced in modern times, and we're very proud of them

Credit: photo Keith James

Credit: photo Keith James

But that wasn't all. Angela Burt made a set of display costumes illustrating what the owners of the house would have worn in the 1640s, and an array of 1640s dressing-up clothes for children and adults to try on.

 

Friends were recruited for a dramatised virtual tour and John Law's 'talking heads' video, particularly aimed at visitors unable to climb the stairs to the upper floors

Credit: photo Keith James

 

We also devised a set of new interpretation panels, and now we're writing a new guide book for the museum. We provide a complete service!

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