From The Archives: Cottage converted to new Ramsey museum

Items from the chemist shop were donated to the Ramsey Museum.

Items from the chemist shop were donated to the Ramsey Museum. - Credit: RAMSEY MUSEUM

A huge project to move a 1930's cottage to a new site, restore it and convert it into a new museum for Ramsey was launched in 2005.

Darlow Farm Cottage was a typical two-bedroom fen cottage, built entirely of wood. It had no running water, electricity or mains drainage.

The water supply, from two rainwater butts supplied the coal-fired boiler in the kitchen, bath and hand basin in the small bathroom; and if these ran out, it meant a walk to the nearby drain to fill buckets.

Heating was by coal fires in each room, and all cooking was done on a kitchen range and toilet was at the end of the garden.

Darlow Cottage was the first married home of the late Marshall Papworth, and his family lived their until after the World War Two.

Darlow Cottage in Ramsey was moved to become the new musuem.

Darlow Cottage was dismantled and move to the new Ramsey Museum site. - Credit: RAMSEY MUSEUM

Alfred Tungate, his wife Mabel and daughter Audrey occupied it in 1954, but it remained empty for many years.

Alfred, Mabel and Audrey Tungate at Darlow Cottage in 1954.

Alfred, Mabel and Audrey Tungate at Darlow Cottage in 1954. - Credit: RAMSEY MUSEUM

In November 2005, it was realised that although the cottage was still in reasonable condition despite years of non-occupancy, it would be flooded when the Great Fen Project got under way.

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The Great Fen Project offered the cottage to the museum free of charge, providing they carried out the dismantling and transportation to the new site.

This work began in May 2005 and was carried out by a team of volunteers. The interior fittings, doors, shelves, dado rails, fireplaces, bath and sink were removed and set aside for re-use.

Work began in 2006/2007 and sections were repaired and restored and mostly taken by tractor to the new site.

The old pieces and some new were put together and despite some set backs and delays, the rebuilding of the cottage finally began in July, 2011 and was finished in March, 2012.

Visitors can now walk around the cottage and see all the rooms set out with authenticate 1940’s style furniture and fitments.

Ramsey Rural Museum is a charitable incorporated organisation that is managed and maintained entirely by volunteers. It has a variety of machinery, implements and vehicles spanning 200 years of rural life.

The Chemist Shop and the Cobblers Shop were donated to the museum – the former had been owned by the Whitwell family of Peterborough and the latter from the Paul’s of Chatteris.
Ramsey Rural Museum Wood Lane Ramsey Cambridgeshire PE26 2XD.