Mrs Smith was well known and well loved in Navenby where she lived until she was 102. Her cottage provides a rare insight into the life of a rural Lincolnshire community through an entire century. The contents and appearance have been preserved from when Hilda Smith last lived there in 1995. She knew all the local history, families and secrets and kept a diary every day. You can explore and reveal layers of a unique story.

Her lifetime connection to Navenby, its people, businesses and community life is similarly rich and well documented. This element of the story is key to understanding Mrs Smith and the Cottage is still closely linked to the Navenby of today.

Explore the unique atmosphere

Mrs Smith’s Cottage is a living building. Using her diaries as inspiration, each day is slightly different. As a guest you can learn how she lived through the seasons and how contentment can be found in simple things. Help yourself to a sweet from the tin and take a seat. Smell the roses in the garden and maybe pull a few weeds. Here you are more than a visitor; you are a helpful guest.

Discover a strong independent character

From climbing a ladder to bed aged 102 to resisting the Council’s insistence on an inside toilet, you will discover Mrs Smith’s independent spirit. Her values, her faith and her life experience gave her resilience and wisdom. Share a memory or lesson of your own on the Wall of Promises. This is a place that collects memories and stories.

Experience the work of the community today

The cottage and her life contain lessons that are invaluable today. Today her principled existence, her determination and warmth inspire creative responses. The Cottage and its stories inspire successive generations and encourage a reflection on contemporary life and issues. A programme of arts activities encourages people to engage in different ways.


We want our museum to be enjoyed by all. Our Heritage Lottery Fund project we have been able to make the site as wheelchair friendly as possible and we now offer family visits to the cottage while we are usually closed, allowing you to have the cottage to yourselves. Find out more about the site in our accessibility guide below.

Keeping you Safe

Staff and visitor safety is an important part of creating an enjoyable experience, we have ensured our museum is Covid secure by providing hand sanitiser stations throughout.

Opening times

Open Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday (excluding Christmas Day and Boxing Day) from12noon until 4pm, with our last entry time at 3pm.

Mrs Smith’s door was always open to drop-in visitors, and so are we! Due to the small size of the building we recommend booking your visit in advance to avoid disappointment.

Cost of entry

  • Adults: £3.50
  • Children (5-15): £2.00
  • Under 5’s: free
  • Family of 2 adults and 3 children: £10.00

How to find us

Mrs Smith’s Cottage is situated on East Road, just off Navenby High Street (A607).

Navenby is 10 miles south of Lincoln and is served by the Grantham-Lincoln bus. On street parking is available along East Road or Navenby High Street.

Full Address

Mrs Smith’s Cottage, 3 East Road, Navenby, Lincolnshire, LN5 0EP