The remarkable story of the Duleep Singh family, who left a lasting legacy in Norfolk and Suffolk, could be told in a new way, if a bid for nearly £250,000 of lottery cash succeeds.

Museum bosses are hoping to secure the money from the National Lottery Heritage Fund to develop the current displays about the family at Thetford's Ancient House Museum.

Thetford & Brandon Times: The Ancient House Museum in ThetfordThe Ancient House Museum in Thetford (Image: Archant)

Maharajah Duleep Singh was the last Sikh ruler of the Punjab and, after his kingdom was taken from him by the British in the 1840s, he arrived in England.

The ousted king befriended Queen Victoria, bought the Elevden Estate, near Thetford, and for the next century the family continued to live in the region, including at Old Buckenham, Hockwold, Blo’ Norton, Breckles, and Walcott.

His son, Prince Frederick was the founder of Ancient House Museum in Thetford, which is hoping to revamp the exhibition about his family to mark its centenary.

Thetford & Brandon Times: Prince Frederick Duleep SinghPrince Frederick Duleep Singh (Image: Archant)

And the emperor's daughters Princess Catherine, Sophie and Bamba also had remarkable lives and were suffragettes.

Thetford & Brandon Times: Sophia Duleep SinghSophia Duleep Singh (Image: Norfolk Museums Service (Ancient House))

Princess Catherine, having left her home in Germany, took in a series of German-Jewish refugees during the Second World War, saving them from the Nazis.

Members of the Norfolk Joint Museums Committee will be asked next week to recommend that the grant application goes forward.

Thetford & Brandon Times: Steve Miller, head of museums at Norfolk County CouncilSteve Miller, head of museums at Norfolk County Council (Image: Archant)

Steve Miller, director of culture and heritage and head of museums at Norfolk County Council, said: "There is a great interest in the Maharajah Duleep Singh who lived at Elveden Hall near the town, and I’m pleased we are doing this work as we approach the centenary of the museum, which was a gift to the people of Thetford from the Maharajah’s very generous son, Prince Frederick Duleep Singh."

Thetford & Brandon Times: Mahajarah Duleep SinghMahajarah Duleep Singh (Image: Archant)

Members of the public are being asked to help shape the bid, by giving their views at a community conservation day at the Ancient House Museum on Saturday, April 15.