Lancaster's oldest existing townhouse will formally re-open in late March 2019.
The current house was built around 1625 although there is evidence of buildings on the site dating back to Roman times – the remains of a Roman kiln were discovered in the garden.
Originally the home of Thomas Covell, Mayor of Lancaster and Keeper of Lancaster Castle, between 1776 and 1975 it became an impressive residence for judges visiting the Assize Court.
The museum is now home to a renowned collection of furniture made by the Lancaster firm, Gillows, displayed in Regency period room settings. Robert Gillow was selling fashionable furniture to the upper middle classes 20 years before Thomas Chippendale and is mentioned in the novels of Jane Austen, William Makepeace Thackeray and an opera by Gilbert and Sullivan.
The Museum of Childhood explores toys and games from the 18th century to the present and includes a nursery and reconstructed classroom.