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Government minister visits Keighley's Cliffe Castle Museum and Oakbank School
5:45pm Friday 13th September 2013 in News
Cliffe Castle Museum was hailed as "unbelievable" by a government minister this afternoon when she toured the recently-reopened building.
Culture Secretary Maria Miller was shown round the Victorian mill owner's mansion by museum manager Daru Rooke.
Mrs Miller, who also visited Oakbank School, learned about the popular museum's history and its recent £350,000 refurbishment.
She said: "It's wonderful to see the work that has gone on. It's incredibly important to make sure we preserve our local history.
"Here you have an amazing example of what life would have been like in Victorian times for the few select people."
Mr Rooke told Mrs Miller how, in recent years, several rooms had been restored to depict a time when the building was owned by Victorian tycoon Henry Isaac Butterfield.
He said: "I think Cliffe Castle has played host to ministers and royalty in the past – he was connected to the crowned heads of Italy and France."
Mrs Miller, the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, visited Cliffe Castle at the invitation of Keighley MP Kris Hopkins.
He said: "It's always been a special place for me and I wanted to show it off and give it the profile it needs. It's a beautiful place."
Mrs Miller also visited Oakbank School to see the work of drama and art students, and look around the school's sports facilities.
She said: "I was interested in how schools are making sure that young people have the right access to sport.
"Sport is one of the great legacies of London 2012 – we're seeing more people taking part in sport, and sporting habits need to start in school."
Mrs Miller said the government had put £300 million into primary school sport, which she hoped would develop interests that children would retain through to secondary school.
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