History of The Friends

The Friends of Lancaster Judges’ Lodgings came into being in 2016 when a group of local people got together to try and keep the venue open as a museum and community asset.

This was at a time when, due to funding cuts, museums across the county were being threatened with closure. The Judges’ Lodgings did in fact close in September 2016.

A charitable Trust was formed – The Lancaster Judges’ Lodgings Museum Trust – After negotiations with Lancashire County Council, the Council decided to work towards its reopening for three days each week, nine months of the year.

The Trust and the County Council share a Memorandum of Understanding to promote the best interests of the Judges’ Lodgings.

In March 2019 Lancaster Judges’ Lodgings reopened staffed by a mixture of paid staff and volunteers.

The first season after the reopening saw many visitors both coming from out of town and local residents keen to see the museum open once again. There was a busy programme of events put on by the museum and the Friends which ensured that Judges’ Lodgings had a very successful reopening season.

However, many of the exciting events planned for 2020 have been put on hold due to Covid-19.

What do the Friends do?

The Friends of Lancaster JudgesLodgings is a group working within the Trust to assist in maintaining and promoting the Lodgings as one of the premier heritage attractions in Lancaster.

The Friends take part in a range of activities, sharing in events organised by the Library, Museum, Culture & Registrar Service.

They also run their own events to help raise money for the development of the museum. These have included talks, concerts, art exhibitions, workshops and social occasions. The introduction of a pop up Victorian Tea Room once a month in the courtyard proved extremely popular.

Volunteers from the Friends act as room stewards and help maintain the Judges’ Lodgings garden. On top of that, they run regular meetings every other month and provide a monthly e-newsletter.

Find out more about joining The Friends – membership details and pricing here >

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