A Lichfield visitor attraction is getting ready to celebrate 20 years since it was converted to a museum.
Having previously served as a residence for cathedral officials and a women’s shelter, Erasmus Darwin House had fallen into a poor state of repair in 1994 when a five year project to restore the building began.
It eventually opened on 9th April 1999.
In 2009, refurbishment of the two main exhibition rooms took place and then again in 2013 major changes were made to the Inventions Room, bringing the thoughts fromErasmus Darwin’s fascinating Commonplace Book off the page.
To mark the anniversary, Erasmus Darwin House will be hosting a Gala Dinner on 18th May at the Lichfield Guildhall.
The evening’s guest speaker will be historian and TV presenter Professor Kate Williams. Tickets for the event are £45, and will include a drink on arrival, a three-course dinner and coffee. They are available from the museum.
Celebrations will also be held in the house over the same weekend, with an exhibition on the development of the museum, Georgian Dancing, a pop up tea room, tours of the house and cellars, and plenty of family fun. For full details visit www.erasmusdarwin.org.
Jenny Arthur, chairman of the Erasmus Darwin Foundation, said “We are all very excited to be celebrating 20 years of the museum.
“It’s been hard keeping up with the other excellent heritage sites in Lichfield, but I think we have cemented our place in the city and hope to continue to showcase the breadth of Erasmus Darwin’s interests and achievements, which laid the foundations for his grandson and evolutionary biologist Charles.”