Main building work complete.

We are pleased to reopen the “old” building for the 2021 season, while work continues to complete the two new rooms for Spring 2022.  There is no access into  these new spaces during the 2021 season, but you can peep from the entrances.

Dr Murray Rose, Chairman of the Trustees says “The actual building phase of our Expansion Project, part-funded by the National Lottery, is now completed, with our contractors having left in early February.  It went very well and ran to time despite the pandemic causing an additional dimension which hadn’t been anticipated before we started.”

Phase II of the construction – the carpentry, doors, stairs , and painting – has been completed by ourselves, leaving only finishing the electrics, heating and carpets for the building work to be completed. The emphasis is now on re-instating and opening the museum, but now this is done, the new building will be finished and used to expand the activities of the museum with the community.

Whatever else 2021 brings, it has already involved a lot of cleaning and moving things by our dedicated team of volunteers

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 clad in a yellow stock brick, matching well the stone of the existing museum.  The extension will be a talking point of which we shall be deservedly proud”.