Alford Manor House museum to receive a significant industrial heritage collection thanks to the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Thompsons MillwrightsAlford & District Civic Trust Ltd have announced their delight at being gifted the entire contents of a millwright’s workshop. A milling specialist has described the contents as being ‘of exceptional significance nationally’.

The current site of the workshop is being developed, leaving the rare collection at risk, and Alford & District Civic Trust Ltd have painstakingly removed the artefacts to their own site to afford protection, thanks to a loyal team of volunteers.

The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) have provided initial funds for the collection’s removal, labelling/cataloguing, storage and assessment as well as funding for new displays and interpretation, adding to the museum’s collection of industrial heritage.

Alford Manor museum has Visit England certification and their frequently updated exhibitions have won them numerous national awards. This new collection will add another layer of interest for new and returning visitors.

The second phase of the Heritage Lottery funded project will focus on a new exhibition space to re-create the exact footprint of the original workshop. The workshop and its contents belonged to R Thompson and Son, now retired, and the entire collection is of high significance locally, being an example of a small scale local business with 19th century origins. However, its contribution to the mill preservation movement in Britain throughout the 20th century elevates the collection to that of ‘exceptional significance nationally’. Thompson’s were one of the last operational millwrighting firms descended from a long line of master millwrights. The Davies family continued Thompson’s work of repairing and restoring our traditional wind- and water-powered mills until Tom Davies’ retirement in late 2012

The Thompson collection project will allow future generations to understand and appreciate the important part that milling played in rural life.

The Chairman of the Trust, Grant Allan, along with his team, are delighted to have secured the HLF funding to save this rare collection of industrial heritage and look forward to re-housing the content on their own site.

WW1 Exhibition: Dorothy Higgins' War

WW1 Exhibition: Dorothy Higgins' War

Thank you to Clive Sutton and Kate Boulton for use of photographs.


WW1 Exhibition: Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School and Old Elizabethan Officer Casualties of the War

Thank you to Clive Sutton and Kate Boulton for use of photographs.

WW1 Exhibition at Alford Manor House

WW1 Exhibition: 1914-18 BedroomWW1 Exhibition: 1914-18 BedroomWW1 Exhibition: Entertainment WW1 Exhibition: Entertainment WW1 Exhibition: Entertainment WW1 Exhibition: Entertainment WW1 Exhibition: Entertainment

WW1 Exhibition: Food & FarmingWW1 Exhibition: Manor House ReceptionWW1 Exhibition: Manor House Reception

Nainby Photographs:

Family Groups and Weddings


Exhibitions at Alford Manor House

The Emperor’s New Clothes

Throughout 2017, there is an exhibition in the House entitled The Emperor’s New Clothes.   Do visit the museum to learn about these beautifully made costumes created especially for us in India.

Edwin NainbyAlford's Premier Photographer: Edwin Nainby

Edwin Rechab Nainby was born in Gedney in January 1842 and died in Alford in July 1908. The youngest son of a Quaker he was first in business as a photographer in Long Sutton and then in 1873 moved to Alford, where he initially joined forces with John Starbuck in the already established photographic business in the town. Later he acquired full ownership, probably in the early 1880s.

Alford Manor House is lucky to have over 750 glass plate negatives, which are original to Nainby's studio. Most of these plates have been digitised and are now available on this DVD. Selected images from the plate collection along with relevant text have been used to create an exhibition about Nainby and the images he captured.

The Manor House is very fortunate to have the volunteer help of two enthusiastic people who have done the majority of the work in producing the raw materials for the exhibition; this totals over 1000 hours of volunteer labour.

The late Eileen Sharpe was been responsible for cataloguing and storing the plates, along with researching Nainby (this follows on from work carried out by George and Joan Greenhill before the renovation of the Manor House).

Warren Hodgkinson has digitised the plates and created this

If you have any information relating to the Victorian Glass plate collection, the archive team at Alford Manor House would be delighted to hear from you; please contact us.

Nainby photographs