It is thought that The Great Bed of Ware was created as a publicity exercise for the inns of Ware. It was certainly used that way from Elizabethan times onwards. First written about in 1596 by a visitor to Ware, it belonged successively to five different inns in Ware, before it moved to Rye House in 1896. It was then sold to the Victoria & Albert Museum in 1931, where it remains. However, following a successful Heritage Lottery Fund award, the Great Bed of Ware returned to the town in April 2012. It was in Ware Museum for a year on loan from The Victoria and Albert Museum, London and returned there on 7th April 2013.

When the bed came to Ware, the bedhead and tester were so fragile they had to be lowered while in their packaging, into the museum via part of the roof, using a large crane parked in the Priory car park. 

Come to the museum to learn more about its varied adventures during its 400 years of existence.

Play Video