For my second instalment on military museums, I look at the impressive collection held by the Lancashire Infantry Museum, the regimental museum for the Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment. I was fortunate enough to visit the museum back in February, located in Preston, Lancashire.
The museum itself is ‘behind the wire’ of Fulwood Barracks, so photo ID is a must (full details on the museum website http://www.lancashireinfantrymuseum.org.uk/). As an added bonus, the museum is free entry (at the time of my visit in 2020, as per all information in this post)!
After entering the barracks, we were escorted from the car park by a museum volunteer, who then proceeded to take us into the museum itself. It is worth mentioning here, that you are accompanied by a museum volunteer for the entirety of your visit around the museum.
The museum is predominately in chronological order, and set over 2 floors. The first room (aptly named ‘The Waterloo Room’) covers the early history of the regiment from 1689 to 1899, with an impressive display of objects housed in traditional museum cases. Each room also has a guide booklet, which using identifying numbers, holds all the information about the objects on display.
I could write post after post on just the objects held in this room, but I won’t spoil the contents too much for those who wish to visit. Having said that, one of the highlights for me was the French Imperial Eagle, captured by the 30th Foot at Salamanca, 1812. I can only apologise for not taking a photograph of it!
After being awestruck in The Waterloo Room, we moved onto The Somme Room via a corridor displaying a selection of medals. The Somme Room covers the regimental history from 1899 to present day and has a much more modern feel to it, with new display cases and graphics. For Great War buffs such as myself, the room is phenomenal and filled with a some incredibly rare and unique objects.
As you can see from the photos (which only cover a very small selection) the Somme Room holds some real gems.
By the end of this room we naturally concluded that this was the end of the museum, but happily we were wrong. A set of stairs lead up to the Council Chamber, an impressive room holding a selection of regimental silver and a mix of other objects. I particularly liked the silver regimental drum display.
The museum tour ends in the Regimental Chapel, which our volunteer informed us is still in regular use and said to be haunted.
To conclude, the museum is well worth visiting and making a special trip for. I’m certainly looking forward to a return visit when I’m next in the area.