Built in the early 19th century for Liverpool Mayor Nicholas Robinson, Sudley became the house of Victorian ship owner and merchant George Holt in 1883. It was all bequeathed to the city in 1944 by Holt's daughter Emma Holt. It is run by National Museums Liverpool. After a period of two years of work, it was reopened on 26 May 2007 following a £1 million refurbishment including many new attractions.
The additions to Sudley House are:
Introductory display: the Holt family – George and Elizabeth Holt and daughter Emma from 1884 to 1944. Set in the ground floor library, the display includes an introductory film, family portraits and a model of the steamer Verdi, which belonged to Holt's Lamport & Holt company.
Two childhood rooms: how Victorian children learned and played. Exhibits include a huge Victorian dolls' house, educational toys, fashion dolls and pots used at mealtimes by rich and poor children.
Costume room: clothes worn by three daughters of Walter Holland, George Holt’s neighbour and business partner who lived at nearby Carnatic Hall. The clothes date from the 1880s to the 1920s and were bought in Bold Street, Liverpool, and Paris.
Temporary exhibition gallery: A Sweet Life – follows the lives of Emily and Philip Tinne and their seven children through Emily's extraordinary clothing collection acquired between 1910 and 1940 and a recently discovered collection of letters. The exhibition runs until Spring 2010.