Progress is being made

Social life may currently be restricted and the museum closed to visitors but progress is being made on the Extension Project. Our project blog is available here.

Over the summer, volunteers have been busy preparing the Museum for the arrival of the builders – moving cases, wrapping artefacts, wrapping the chapel organ, trying to keep labels with anything moved!  Mothproofing Land Army darned socks, keeping endless lists updated of where artefacts have been stored……… in fact, the list of tasks carried out by willing volunteers has been endless, and all achieved while keeping the number working in the building limited for social distancing reasons.

Dr Murray Rose, Chairman of Beaminster Museum Trust,  looks to the future as building work to extend  Beaminster Museum begins.  “The building has now been handed over to O’Brien’s builders of Bridport.  We have raised the money, prepared the museum, and will  hopefully have a trouble-free building period, so early next year we can re-open with better facilities to be able to play an even greater role within our community.”

Artists impression of the new extension

Our extension will enable us to:

  • Tell new stories about Beaminster and its surrounding villages, and for existing ones to be told in a new and better way
  • Host groups of all ages and interests – from school visits to memory cafés for the elderly – much more effectively
  • Carry out research – family history or otherwise – in a more conducive environment
  • React more quickly and effectively to whatever the future holds.

The final agreed design with the West Dorset District Council  is  far from a replication of a 200-year old building style. The preservation of the rear façade will be achieved by a glass link affording a view of the old building and parts of Beaminster. The unusual shape of the rear plot posed problems which will be solved by the use of a zinc raised-seam roof in the place of slate. The Exhibition gallery will be timber-framed, clad in a yellow stock brick, matching well the stone of the existing museum.  Though the extension will be small, it will be a talking point of which we shall be deservedly proud”.