Greendale Construction Handover at The Priest’s House Museum
Posted on: 03/07/2020
Greendale Construction have carried out extensive internal alteration works to this historic Grade II* listed building in Wimborne, Dorset. Works included accessibility alterations throughout the museum, refurbishment, and redecoration internally and externally.
No part of the existing structure – a “rabbit warren” of different rooms at differing levels – has been left untouched. The museum, which includes the Information Centre, has now been carefully bought up to modern day standards creating a new and appealing visitor attraction in the heart of Wimborne.
The museum building and adjoining Information Centre building are formed of one original townhouse. The front elevation has undergone significant improvements. A new stainless steel and glass street-side entrance and large vision panels bring the town house together making the whole building more welcoming from the High Street. Other major works include a new platform lift, ramps for access, as well as new mechanical and electrical installations throughout the building. New staircases have been created with new doors, whilst others have undergone full refurbishments.
What is particularly interesting was the uncovering of previously unknown building features, which have in turn altered expert opinions on the history and story of the building. Remains of a historic wall in what would have been the front forecourt have been discovered and a section of this is now displayed back lit below a glass floor vision panel. There are more new spaces for formal and informal learning and community programmes. The project has delivered new opportunities and training for volunteers and initiated more outreach programmes to the villages of East Dorset.
This fantastic revival project is being made possible by a £982,200 grant from The National Lottery Heritage Fund, along with partnership funding from Trusts, Foundations, local councils, businesses and members of the local community. These include Garfield Weston Foundation; The Talbot Village Trust; The Foyle Foundation; Canford Environmental, The Pilgrim Trust; The Valentine Trust; The Georgian Group; and Bloor Homes.
The project is now ready for the interpretation phase and the Information Centre is getting ready to open to the public again.
Robert Hooker, Project Director for Greendale Construction said; “Our thanks and appreciation go out to the whole team involved in delivering this interesting and worthwhile project. Through collaborative working we have managed to achieve the difficult goal of creating a fully accessible and welcoming museum building which visitors will enjoy for generation to come.”
David Morgan, Chairman of the Board of Trustees, added; “I am hugely grateful to the entire team at Greendale Construction for their expertise, their dedication, and for the excellence they have delivered. This was far from a simple project; the unique quirks this building has accrued over the centuries certainly presented plenty of challenges along the way. With it being Grade II* listed, the stakes were extremely high.
Thankfully, the great skill, care and sensitivity shown by everyone working on this project have ensured it has been a resounding success. Greendale has helped us to marry the old with the new, preserving and restoring the history of this special building, while at the same time creating a stunning, accessible and exciting place for 21st century visitors.”
About The National Lottery Heritage Fund
Using money raised by the National Lottery, we Inspire, lead and resource the UK’s heritage to create positive and lasting change for people and communities, now and in the future. www.heritagefund.org.uk. Follow @HeritageFundUK on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and use #NationalLotteryHeritageFund
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