The D H Lawrence Birthplace Museum can be found in Eastwood, just nine miles away from Nottingham and 40 minutes away from the beautiful Peak District.
Admission to the museum is by tour guide only so if you are travelling far, it may be best to book your tickets in advance. The museum is closed on Sundays and Mondays.
The miners’ cottage in Victoria Street was built in the 1850s and was the first of four homes in Eastwood owned by the Lawrence family. The traditional two-up two-down terraced house has been restored to give an interesting insight into the writer’s childhood.
One of five children, Lawrence had a love/hate relationship with Eastwood, a place which he uses as a setting in one of his most famous novels, Sons and Lovers. He also wrote about the impact of the industrialisation of the surrounding countryside and the wider psychological effects that had on the community.
The first stage of the tour is a look around two exhibition rooms, including a selection of Lawrence’s watercolours, contemporary art inspired by Lawrence’s works, and some interesting memorabilia, including a trunk the writer took on his travels and a watch given to him by his father.
The second stage is to watch a DVD highlighting Lawrence’s early life in Eastwood and his subsequent travels.
A tour guide then showed us around the original house and talked through Lawrence’s early life and childhood, and his relationship with his middle-class mother and working-class father. The house has been restored with a mixture of original artefacts and comparable pieces from the Victorian period. Wallpaper has been recreated from fragments found in the house and you get a good feel for how the family lived.
The kitchen area and communal outdoor washroom are of particular interest, as is the parlour area, including the front window where Lydia, Lawrence’s mother, displayed and sold her lace.
There are lots of opportunity to ask questions and the tour will appeal to children, students, academics and tourists alike.
Admission is £6.90 for adults. There is parking opposite the museum on Victoria Street which cost just £1 for two hours.