|John Self Helmingham|
The Lanman Museum was founded in 1978 but has its origins in the 1930s when the late Harold Lanman (1893-1979) started collecting local artefacts. Initially housed in the Old Library the museum is now found on the first floor of Framlingham Castle. The original collection covered the late Victorian to Edwardian periods but it has since grown backwards to medieval times and forward to World War II. We are always looking to expand the collection – history is an ongoing process!
The collection policy is that all artefacts come from an area within a five mile radius of Framlingham and notably the collection includes the entire Framlingham Weekly News which was published every Saturday from 1859 to 1938. The edition on display is changed weekly to that of a 100 years ago. The adverts in particular make fascinating reading as many of the shops are still in the town.
Utilising grants from the Victoria & Albert Museum and the Headley Trust we have recently purchased medieval gold jewellery found locally which is now displayed in the castle's Great Hall. The museum houses two impressive Faberge objects given to Sir Henry Thompson, surgeon to Queen Victoria. The dinner guest list from one of the doctor's dinner parties is not only signed by George V but also by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle the creator Sherlock Holmes.
Other interesting displays include a funeral bier, traps (for both humans and animals), old shop displays and tools relating to trades in Framlingham that no longer exist such as shoe making. We are building up a clock collection as clock making was once a major business in Fram and any information about this would be most welcome. The photograph collection is vast, including a set of local pictures taken by John Self on glass. The glass plates cannot be displayed for conservation reasons but copies show town life at the turn of the last century. It is great fun trying to identify both people and places and many people have identified their relatives.
Over the summer period the museum is stewarded by local volunteers but we are always on the look out for anybody who can spare a few hours to help.
Curator: Alison Pickup
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