The house trapped in the 1920s


Mr Straw's House

One of the lesser-known National Trust treasures is 5-7 Blythe Grove, Worksop. The semi-detached family home, known as Mr Straw's House, doesn't particularly stand out on the street, and its not known for any fantastically valuable antiques. What makes it so special is that nothing has changed in the home since the 1920s: everything from the decorations to the food on the shelves.

So how did this happen, and this the Trust's oddest property?

Frozen in time

The home was decorated in 1923 by William Straw, who lived in the property with his family. When he died eight years later his widow decided that nothing should be changed. The property remained frozen in time until the last of Straw's sons moved out in 1985 and he left it to the National Trust.

The decor of the age remains, along with the Bovril and tinned sardines on the larder shelves. Even William Straw's hats and coats are still on the racks.

The property already had electricity and running water - but there was never a TV, radio or telephone in the house. It has been preserved as an insight into the lifestyle and fashions of the 1920s, and the National Trust keeps it open to the public.


It's definitely one of the more unusual properties, but the Trust looks after plenty of things that are out of the ordinary. It includes a number of lighthouses, including South Foreland Lighthouse near Dover which was used by Marconi in his experiments with radio transmissions.

It also owns a few mines, ranging from the Roman gold mine at Dolaucothi in Wales to a former tin mine at Aberdulais.

Alternatively you could try one of a number of working pubs owned by the Trust - ranging from The George Inn, a 17th Century coaching inn near Borough Market in London, to The Crown Bar in Belfast, a riot of coloured tiles, stained glass, and period gas lighting.

Of course, if you don't fancy paying an entrance fee, or joining the hoards, you could always peer into the disused shops up and down the UK's high streets. We reported back in May about a men's outfitters in Bowes Park in North London, frozen in time for 13 years after the owners retired. The front window is a homage to pastel shirts and Max Bygraves cassettes, which he couldn't face clearing out.

You can be sure that across the high streets of the UK there are hundreds of others shops frozen in time. Of course, after this year, we will see many more - frozen in 2013 as a reminder of the year that decimated the UK high street?