Chelmsford Museum is being transformed
We are in the middle of a very exciting time at Chelmsford Museum - the museum redevelopment project is well underway with every room in the Victorian house being transformed into new vibrant spaces.
In 2019, we will bring you exciting new interactive displays, brand new artefacts and a café.
Update February 2019:
The new cafe is now open! The Hive opens 7am to 5pm every day and offers a great range of food and drink. You can find out more about the cafe.
The parquet flooring is under renovation, being cleaned and repaired to bring it to its former glory. The cafe will be opening very soon, and the team are working very hard on finalising the displays and interpretations.
The Crompton Toastrack is now fully restored and in place, and is looking resplendent in the grounds of the museum.
Old familiar rooms are now empty, their precious contents carefully wrapped up and stored away.
One of the most exciting, and unexpected, pleasures of the redevelopment work are the objects that have been discovered under the floorboards after being lost for almost a century. Some of the items include a World War One enlistment form, a newspaper from 1921, a packet of cigarettes from the early 1900s, and a bell pull which would have been used to summon servants. These random items may seem irrelevant and unrelated, but they all tell the story of Oaklands House and the people of Chelmsford from many years ago.
Architectural secrets recently discovered include a Gilded Victorian geometric wallpaper, some original wooden panelling and a tiled fireplace hearth, which matches the floor tiling by the front door.
Outside the museum, the car park is being enlarged, two disabled ramps are in being constructed to ease access into the museum, and the Cafe patio is in place next to the rose garden terrace. A Crompton Toastrack railway carriage has been restored in Ross-on-Wye and was gently lowered into a glass enclosure at the rear of the Museum last week.
All this work has been funded by Chelmsford City Council and a grant of £2.16 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund, and I’m sure that when you visit the reopened museum you will be blown away by the changes.
The project would not have been possible without funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund, and Chelmsford City Council, so thank you to everyone who buys their weekly lotto tickets!
You can still see the Bright Sparks exhibition, Boris the Bear, our live beehive, the Essex Regiment Museum and the Essex Yeomanry exhibition.
We also still have events and exhibitions on throughout the year. You can find out about our events here.
Once re-opened in 2019, the developed museum will have:
- a café where visitors to the museum and the park will be able to relax and enjoy the views of the park
- new interactive displays
- brand new objects on display
- a room-by-room history of Chelmsford
- greater energy efficiency
- a restored Crompton Toastrack, as shown in this video.
You will be able to keep up to date with the redevelopment on Facebook and Twitter