THE Great Bed of Ware is to be loaned by the V&A, for the first time since its acquisition in 1931, to the Ware Museum.
The Heritage Lottery Fund has awarded
£229,200 to the Ware Museum Trust to allow the bed to be displayed
in the town where it was made from April 6 for a year.
Dating to c.1590, the bed is thought to have
been created as a tourist attraction for travellers on the pilgrim
route from London to Walsingham. Over 3m wide and publicised as
being able to sleep 12, travellers were reputed to choose the town
of Ware to break their journey just to spend a night in the bed.
Many carved into it with dates, initials and wax seals.
It became so well known that William
Shakespeare has Sir Toby Belch in Twelfth
Night describe a sheet of paper as "big enough for the
Bed of Ware".