Crowdfunder launched to restore stunning Durbar Hall at Hastings Museum

Hastings Museum and Art Gallery has teamed up with the Museums Association and Crowdfunder to raise much needed funds to restore the last remaining original banquettes in the Durbar Hall.

Friday, 18th June 2021, 10:55 am

The spectacular woodcarvings and furnishings of the Durbar Hall were originally created for the 1886 Colonial and Indian Exhibition held in London, before being purchased and moved to Lord and Lady Brassey’s Park Lane mansion.

The banquettes, the seats around the room, were then re-upholstered by the family in a fine and rare material, bought by Lady Annie Brassey on a previous trip to Cairo.

The designs are made from panels of silk and richly embroidered with metallic threads. They were originally woven for Sultan Abdul Aziz, the 32nd Sultan of the Ottoman Empire who reigned between 1861 and 1876.

Hastings Museum Durbar Hall SUS-210618-101930001

Following the deaths of Lord and Lady Brassey, the family presented the building and many of its contents to Hastings in 1919. It was then re-erected as an extension to the Museum in 1931.

Cllr Paul Barnett explained: “Sadly the banquettes require very specialist work that is beyond the budgets that the museum has available. The remaining original material is now in a very poor condition and action is needed to repair them, so they can be appreciated by visitors and locals for many years to come.

“We hope people will help us to preserve this fantastic piece of history by donating or sharing the project.”

To find out more and donate go to