Exciting plans for Our Museum
There are exciting plans to open up Poole’s most beautiful and important historic buildings to the public. Central Poole’s only two Grade 1 listed buildings – meaning they are of exceptional historical interest – are the Town Cellars and Scaplen’s Court. Both buildings are part of the Poole Museum estate, but are not open to the public on a daily basis.
Solar Room, Scaplen's Court Museum
Both buildings are also scheduled ancient monuments. The Town Cellars – once known as the King’s Hall - is a medieval quayside wool warehouse dating from the height of Poole’s maritime power, and was rebuilt after being partly destroyed by Spanish raiders in 1405. It is one of the only remaining buildings of its type in northern Europe. Scaplen’s Court started life as a medieval merchant’s house, becoming a courtyard inn where seafarers and later Parliamentary troops would have lodged, before falling into decline and becoming a Victorian slum. The buildings, used now as Poole History Centre and the Museum Learning Centre are hidden gems that deserve to be better known and appreciated.
A new masterplanning strategy for Our Museum proposes that these extraordinary buildings should be restored and opened up as part of the public visit. As well as preserving Poole’s maritime heritage the extra space would help relieve pressure on the existing museum building, which can be very crowded at busy periods. It would also allow more collections of historic artefacts to be exhibited, particularly the internationally important collection of historic ships.
The masterplanning strategy provides options for three of the four main elements of the estate – Poole Museum itself, Scaplen’s Court and the Town Cellars. The fourth element, Sir Anthony Caro’s monumental Sea Music sculpture, has been recently restored and reopened with support of the Heritage Lottery Fund. A fifth element – improvement of the streetscape between the buildings is also being considered.
Poole Museum and Scaplen's Court
Our Museum project aims to connect our buildings, stories and collections through interactive and immersive displays. The project will take several years to complete and Borough of Poole Museum Service is now engaging with the public and other stakeholders to help it prioritise its plans.
There are a number of ways of getting involved in this exciting project. Come along to our drop-in family activity session on Thursday 15th February. You can join Our Museum group to give us detailed feedback about the proposals in a workshop setting. You can complete a brief survey to let us have your views. You can join us as a volunteer to bring your skills to the project or you can make a donation to help us fund development costs.
For more information contact Rachel.firstname.lastname@example.org