Mr Straw’s House

Miss Thrifty7 May 17, 2012

Mr Straw's House Mr Straw’s House is my favourite National Trust property. I was going to list it as one of the highlights when the National Trust gave everyone free entry recently, but it’s one of those places where visits have to be booked in advance, and it does get booked up.

So I’m giving it a post of its own. It’s brilliant – and if you are into old school thrift and Make Do And Mend, I think you will love it as much as I do.

Mr Straw’s House is in Worksop, 16 miles south of Robin Hood Airport. From the outside, it is an ordinary semi-detached property on a quiet, leafy street lined with red-brick Edwardian homes. Those who venture inside are transported back in time. In fact it is an uncanny experience, like walking into an Ealing film or an Agatha Christie novel.

The three-storey house, open to the public, is just as it was in the 1930s – right down to the brown leatherette wallpaper on the stairs, bowler hats hanging in the hallway and dusty letters with old stamps and faded postmarks, piled high on the sitting room piano.

The property is as perfectly preserved as the bottled fruit and jars of ancient pickles in its scrubbed pantry. Other features, such as a heavy stovetop iron, a chilly WC and a Baby Daisy vacuum cleaner, which had to be operated by two people, remind us just how far we have come…

The house’s former owners, brothers William and Walter Straw, were splendidly eccentric. Following the deaths of their parents in the 1930s, they spurned modern conveniences such as the telephone and rarely threw anything away. Over the decades, their home became a shrine to the disappearing past.

Walter, the town’s grocer, died in 1976, but William lived on into his nineties. He left the contents of the house to the National Trust, which decided to open the property to the public.

Every winter, the house is temporarily closed so that every item, down to a set of false teeth kept in one of the bedrooms, can be cleaned and returned to its proper place.

In keeping with a bygone era, visitors are politely requested to book their admission in advance, by telephone, letter or e-mail. If you aren’t a National Trust member, admission is £6.50 for an adult, and £15.50 for a family.

If you live nearby or are visiting the area, it is also worth noting that Mr Straw’s House is participating in the nationwide Museums at Night initiative: hundreds of museums, galleries, libraries, and heritage sites are opening for special evening events over the coming weekend of 18 to 20 May 2012. Mr Straw’s House will be open on Friday night, when you can see it in a different light – quite literally. Booking is essential though.

Mr Straw’s House, 7 Blyth Grove, Worksop S81 0JG. Contact: +44 (0)1909 482380; mrstrawshouse@nationaltrust.org.uk.

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7 Responses to “Mr Straw’s House

Jenni says:

I’ve visited loads of National Trust properties with my family yet this is the one nearest to where I live yet I’ve still never managed to go! I’m certainly going to arrange something now you’ve reminded me about it.
It’s worth noting Clumber Park is really close by too do after you’ve visited the house you could spend a the afternoon with a Walkmans a picnic 🙂

May 17, 2012 at 6:23 am

James Duval says:

Amazing – and some wonderful shots too. I have a lifetime national trust membership, so next time I’m REMOTELY near this I’ll give it a look.

Great job!

May 17, 2012 at 11:23 am

Rachael Drew says:

Hello there,

My name is Rahael Drew, Community Engagement Officer at Mr Straw’s House, just writing to thank you for this lovely blog about our special house.

We have a number of events that might be interesting for your readers, including a rag rug workshop and crochet for beginners class – if you’d like more information please drop me an email and I’ll be happy to call you.

Also, our prices have now risen and we are £6.90 for an adult, although still free for NT members!

Again, many thanks for your

May 17, 2012 at 12:11 pm

Working Girl says:

One of many NT sites I intend to visit – it looks lovely! Being a little outside the local area though it’s a bit of a trek – one day I’ll get there. 🙂

May 17, 2012 at 1:45 pm

Miss Thrifty says:

@Jenni I’ve never visited Clumber Park, but I’m always up for a picnic :).

@James and @Working Girl Yes, Worksop is a bit random, isn’t it? Do visit if you are passing though. I’m forever up and down the A1/M1, so it’s more of a pitstop.

@Rachael Thanks for the updated info about prices. The craft workshops sound great – do send details, and I’ll append them to the post.

May 17, 2012 at 10:33 pm

Jenni says:

Terrible mistyping in my last comment!
I’d be interested in the crocheting 🙂 haven’t done it since I lost my great Gran and there’s loads of little projects is like to do but can’t remember how to crochet anymore lol

May 18, 2012 at 5:57 am

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