Reader's Digest Asia Pacific - - Culture -

Built by a Hert­ford­shire car­pen­ter in 1580, The Great Bed of Ware is a huge carved oak four-poster bed that mea­sures an im­pres­sive 3 x 3.3 me­tres.

It’s as­sumed that the bed was orig­i­nally de­signed to in­crease tourism to the quaint town of Ware, which re­mains a choice overnight stop for vis­i­tors to Lon­don or Cam­bridge. Those who stayed in the bed – which could ac­com­mo­date up to four cou­ples

– would of­ten doc­u­ment their stay by carv­ing their ini­tials into the bed­post or at­tach­ing their per­sonal red wax seal. These de­light­ful de­tails can still be en­joyed by vis­i­tors to the Vic­to­ria and Al­bert Mu­seum in Lon­don, where the bed now re­sides af­ter a brief re­turn to its home­town in 2012. The mu­seum calls the bed the ‘sin­gle best-known ob­ject’ in all their col­lec­tion, which is quite a feat. ■ www.vam.ac.uk

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