American Museum & Gardens
Since 1961, Claverton Manor in Bath has been home to the American Museum. Surrounded by stunning gardens and grounds above the city of Bath, it is the only place outside of the USA to feature fully recreated American domestic interiors. There's so much more than that, though! With seasonal exhibitions, Christmas lights and gorgeous walks, it offers a superb day out!
Spread over three floors, the museum offers a fascinating glimpse into American history. It spans the 14th century to the present day and visitors will see a mixture of recreated interior rooms and artefacts lovingly rescued and recreated in situ. Before going into the main house, you can visit the 'Folk Art' museum, complete with a massive ship's figurehead which is very rare as it is a male figure, rather than a female.
The Museum goes from the basement upwards, down a winding flight of stairs. The lower ground floor is full of timelines and artefacts relating to the birth of Modern America and has some most unusual clothing. One very special article is a leather dress, modelled on a tribal dress, which shows incredible workmanship. Other highlights are authentic 'Vaqueros' cowboy outfits and some unusual furniture.
Before ascending to the ground floor, visitors can walk around a real 17th-century tavern, full of artefacts and home comforts. Every detail has been recreated, including the wall-mounted candle boxes for light, and the array of cooking implements that once provided food and drink for visitors to the bar.
The upper floor contains all manner of recreated interiors. These show the transformation from raw and basic frontier rooms to the height of New York sophistication in the twentieth century, with many places in between. It really does feel like stepping into the past, and the very well-informed guides tell you all about the previous histories of the artefacts in each place and period.
My favourite interior was the New York music room, recreated from plans and photographs of a Fifth Avenue apartment. Amongst harps and chaise longues were stunning fabrics and furniture, and instruments arranged as if they had just been left there for the morning. It was stunning.
This is the perfect Winter destination at the moment. There are two magnificent Christmas trees in the house and many lovely seasonal sights outside. A ticket into the house gains you access to the cafe and the grounds, which are all set up for a Christmas lights extravaganza. There is even American themes music to accompany the lights. What more could you ask for?
72312 - 2023-01-26 02:00:07