In a significant milestone, the Ancient House Museum in Norfolk’s Thetford has been awarded a generous grant of nearly £200,000 by the National Lottery Heritage Fund. This financial support, coinciding with the museum’s centenary, is dedicated to commemorating the legacy of Maharajah Duleep Singh, the last ruler of the Sikh empire.
Established in 1924 by Prince Frederick Duleep Singh, the son of Maharajah Duleep Singh, the Ancient House Museum holds a rich history that resonates with the royal heritage of the Sikh empire. The recent grant of £198,059 (equivalent to USD 251,712.99) is earmarked to illuminate the family’s story through captivating displays, offering visitors a glimpse into the life and journey of Maharajah Duleep Singh.
Maharajah Duleep Singh, the youngest son of Maharajah Ranjit Singh, played a pivotal role in the Sikh empire’s history. Ascending to the throne at the tender age of five after the demise of his father and brother, his reign was cut short when Britain annexed the Punjab in 1849. This pivotal moment in history led to Duleep Singh’s arrival in England at the age of 15, marking the beginning of a new chapter in his life.
About Maharajah Duleep Singh:
Choosing Elveden Hall in Suffolk as his residence, Maharajah Duleep Singh embarked on a journey that would leave an indelible mark on the region. The Ancient House Museum stands as a testament to this historical connection, with the grant aimed at enhancing its exhibits to narrate the compelling tale of this remarkable figure.
Over the ensuing century, Duleep Singh’s family continued to be an integral part of the Suffolk area, maintaining a lasting presence that resonates with local history. Prince Frederick Duleep Singh, the second son of Maharajah Duleep Singh, further solidified this connection by generously donating Thetford’s Ancient House Museum to the town’s residents.
The museum, now a beacon of cultural preservation, serves as a bridge between the past and the present. Through its enhanced displays and narratives, it strives to engage visitors in the captivating story of Maharajah Duleep Singh and his family, fostering a deeper appreciation for the historical ties that bind the Sikh empire to the heart of Norfolk’s Thetford.