Wallingford Museum – New Visitor and Archive Facilities; and Archaeological Store.
Wallingford Museum is extremely pleased and grateful to announce that it was awarded a grant by the LEADER fund to extend and improve its facilities.
The LEADER fund is supported by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development.
Wallingford Museum is an Independent Museum and a limited company registered as a Charity. It is located in a Flint House, a Grade 2 listed building, which opened to the public in 1981. Its use provides the opportunity for the public to have access to the historic building as well as viewing the contents. Its location beside the Library is ideal as it provides a small learning centre for Wallingford. It was one of the first museums in Oxfordshire to achieve Registration and is now a fully Accredited Museum under the Arts Council England.
The Museum was in great need of additional space, to achieve more and improved exhibition and archive areas, accommodate group visits and larger school parties, provide a visitor toilet and better access and facilities for disabled visitors. Many of the Museum's resources were currently having to be stored in unsatisfactorily crowded conditions because of lack of display and dedicated Collections Management space.
The Museum is run entirely by volunteers and, together with its sister volunteer organisation - The Wallingford Historical and Archaeological Society (TWHAS), based at the Museum - provides a particularly valuable resource for Wallingford's history for local people, schools and visitors. It has the potential to contribute more significantly to the tourism attractions of the town. In this respect it is a key element in the Wallingford Economic Action Plan which seeks amongst other things to 'leverage the history of the town - in collaboration with the museum and the library.’
Brief Description of Works
To address the issues identified above the Museum received planning permission and listed building consent in December 2017.
The work covered proposals to modify the internal layout of the ground floor of the Museum to provide a public disabled WC and create a space that can be used by groups visiting the Museum. Additionally, the works covered the replacement of two timber storage sheds, located in the rear yard of the Museum, with a larger single storey timber unit (photo of completed building below) which has enabled purpose-built housing for part of the Museum’s collections and archaeology equipment, some of which was re-located as part of the internal changes.
Programme - at August 2018
Groundworks commenced in Sept 2018, and the building works were planned to be complete by March 2019. The Museum is closed to the public from 1 December 2018 to 28th February 2019 which will help with the internal modifications.
UPDATE - at Jan 2019
We are delighted to announce that our new building is now up and we have received the first
instalment of our grant from LEADER! The building will soon be housing the main museum
collection, together with the separate section for archaeology. All the new specialist shelving is
already in place.
Meanwhile, huge progress has been made inside the Museum by John Druce, our excellent
builder, in beginning to create the new toilet facilities and the wonderful new multi-purpose room,
which will include new kitchen units, cupboards, chairs and tables, enabling us to much improve
our offer to school and tourist groups. There is still lots to be done, including preparation for our
new ‘Once upon a Time…’ exhibition. However, at present (fingers crossed) we are on target and
aiming to open on 1 March with all the work complete!
And don’t forget - throughout January and February our bookstall will continue to be open on
Fridays from 10.30am to 3.00pm and Saturdays from 10.30am to 1.00pm.
UPDATE - at March 2019
We are delighted to announce that the project has been completed on time.
January and February have been two of the busiest months since the museum expanded in 2005
to take over the ground floor of Flint House. Not only have we re-organised all the ‘back-room ‘
space in the museum, but we have created a splendid new all-purpose activities/meeting room,
and provided a palatial fully-accessible public toilet!
Thanks to everyone who has given a hand, including our ever helpful builder,
John Druce. In so very many ways, it has been an amazing team effort!
Thanks to LEADER for their support and funding to make all this happen.