01. Cottage Museum

Heritage Trail Location 1 

 

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This building began life as a flatpack, transported to Woodhall Spa railway station and erected somewhere else! It is a corrugated iron building, made by Boulton and Paul of Norwich, who went on to manufacture aeroplanes. In 1887, “the bungalow” was transferred from the moor, which became the Hotchkin Golf Course, to its present site, which was next to the railway line. It became the home of Mr. Thomas Wield, who worked at the Spa Baths and began making donkey and hand drawn bathchairs. These were used to transport patients to the Baths for treatments and also for pleasure trips around the Spa.

Mr. Johnny Wield continued his father`s bathchair business but he did much else besides. Notably, he was a photographer and most of the old photographs in the museum were taken by him on glass plates, which he developed in his dark room in the back garden of the bungalow.

The property has been altered over the years and has accommodated an amazing number of people as the Wield family increased. (Johnny married Asenath Dickinson, sister of the cycle and motor engineer in the village.) At one time the family even took in lodgers!

The bungalow became the property of the Cottage Museum in 1987. Since then, thousands of visitors, both local and from far away, have seen exhibits and photographs and felt the ambience of this unusual property, which was inhabited by the Wield family for over 70 years.

The Cottage Museum and co-resident Tourist Information Centre can be found just off The Broadway. The Museum opened to the public in May 1987 as a community museum run by the Woodhall Spa Cottage Museum Trust.. Its purpose is to preserve the community history of Woodhall Spa and district. There is a wide variety of exhibits which are regularly changed ensuring that no visitor will be disappointed by a visit to this charming collection.They include a wide range of photographs (largely based on the Wield collection) and memorabilia featuring the activities and development of the Spa.

Woodhall Spa Cottage Museum re-opened its doors to the public on the 3rd of May 2013 following a substantial winter refurbishment funded by a Heritage Lottery Fund grant.

The Tourist Information Centre provides comprehensive assistance to visitors to the area. A gift shop and 'What's on' display are included.

Heritage Trail locations

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The trail can be started at any location, but we suggest you also visit the Cottage Museum to see the photographs taken by John Wield during the heyday of the Spa and items associated with this unique Victorian Spa town.

The Trail is just one of several projects in the hands of the Woodhall Spa Parish Council sponsored Heritage Committee. Click here if you are interested in the committee or their projects.


How well do you know Woodhall Spa?

See if you can identify the location of these architectural features and items of street furniture! Or find the Letterbox (coming soon)

Find out more about the Woodhall Spa Conservation Area