"We liked the Ladies’ little double bed": Queer Pilgrimage and the Heritage House

Author(s): Alison Oram

Year: 2013


Particular heritage houses have long been associated with prominent figures who have been claimed for queer history. Plas Newydd, Llangollen, the home of the Ladies of Llangollen, for example, drew admiring and fascinated visitors during their own lifetimes and since, many of whom were keen to replicate or fantasise about a similar romantic friendship or sexual relationship (depending on their interpretation of its nature). Changing attitudes to same-sex love in recent decades raise a new set of questions about curatorial interpretation of such sites, and visitor expectations.

This paper will briefly discuss the changing material interpretation strategies at such sites, and the tension between the embedded queer heritage of historic houses and the traditional curatorial focus on heteronormative family life. It will also discuss whether particular concepts in the tourism and sociological literatures, especially the ideas of pilgrimage and celebrity or iconicity, are useful in developing a framework for analysis of the queer historic house.

Cite this Record

"We liked the Ladies’ little double bed": Queer Pilgrimage and the Heritage House. Alison Oram. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Leicester, England, U.K. 2013 ( tDAR id: 428232)

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections


heritage Interpretation Queer

Geographic Keywords
United Kingdom Western Europe

Temporal Keywords
19th-20th Centuries

Spatial Coverage

min long: -8.158; min lat: 49.955 ; max long: 1.749; max lat: 60.722 ;

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 382