RESIDENTS have been enjoying free visits to Weymouth’s Tudor House museum as the attraction celebrates its 50th anniversary.

Visitors from Weymouth and Portland are being given a tour of the house and gaining an insight into 17th-century life with guides providing a wealth of local history from the days when the building stood on the edge of a harbour inlet.

The house has been furnished and equipped to illustrate the life and times of an early 17th-century middle class merchant family as it is believed that was its original use.

Eileen O’Brien, custodian of the museum in Trinity Street, close to Brewers Quay said visitors have been enjoying the chance to learn more about Weymouth’s past.

She said: “Visitors have been enjoying a great insight into local history and the tour illustrates a day in the life of a Tudor family.

“The building was condemned for demolition just before the Second World War but fortunately it was saved.”

The house is Elizabethan and was built in 1600. Among the items on view is a unique kitchen crane used to move cooking equipment on to the heat safely.

A Jacobean bed has a rope net underneath which needs to be tightened periodically – showing the basis of the saying ‘night night sleep tight’.

Mrs O’Brien said the house has led a privileged existence by escaping wartime damage and it is also believed the museum has a resident ghost.

She said: “It survived the civil war and two world wars and has a great atmosphere and possibly has a ghost called Lucy whose figure welcomes visitors at the door.

The tour details the heyday of Weymouth as a port for trade and exploration.

Guides describe the domestic daily life of the times including furniture, clothing, cooking, the serving of food and also discuss lighting and candle-making from the era. • THE Tudor House Museum welcomes group and school visits.

To gain free entry residents from the borough should bring proof of residence.

The museum is open today and tomorrow from 2pm until 4pm and on Tuesday to Friday from 1pm to 3.45pm.

Free visits for borough residents run until Friday but donations will be gratefully received.

Normal admission prices are £3.50 for adults and £1 for children and the disabled. Students are charged £1.50.

Disabled visitors can access the ground floor only.

For details visit the museum or call 01305 779711.