Claverton Manor, Bath BA2 7BD
The American Museum at Claverton Manor opened in 1961, forming a transatlantic alliance. The idea for the museum was considered in 1956, after visiting living history museums in America, and the founders began collecting items to be displayed during 1958.
The museum was founded by Dr Dallas Pratt and John Judkyn, who wanted to showcase the achievements of American decorative art. They had a holiday home in Bath, which made Claverton Manor the perfect location for their museum.
After first opening, the museum proved to be extremely popular and was a success. There were over 20,000 visitors to Claverton Manor within the first 3 months in 1961 when the doors were first opened to the public.
The pieces were intended to demonstrate how Americans had lived in the past, and the extent to which this was demonstrated is impressive. Furniture and household items were shipped over from America, along with specific décor pieces such as wall panelling and even flooring.
The rooms were decorated to be exactly as they would be in America and allow Britons to experience this way of living in an immersive way. At the time, Claverton Manor was the only museum showcasing decorative arts of America outside of the states, and remains the only one doing so still today.
There are many collections to visit here, including furniture, paintings, quilts, silver, glass, fully dressed period rooms, textiles, as well as exhibitions and galleries.
The museum supports schools and education with various organised educational events and tours specialised for children and school trips. There are also outreach programs which work with local schools throughout Bristol and Bath all year round to encourage learning and development.
The museum has a café in the orangery for visitors to enjoy refreshments and the stunning gardens surrounding the area. The venue is also available for civil ceremonies and event hire.