Poole Museum
Free Entry
Opening times:
From 30 Mar - 28 Oct 2018
Daily 10am - 5pm

sharing Poole's community heritage
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Our Museum Project

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.

Scaplen's Court Museum
Solar Room, Scaplen's Court Museum
The Town Cellars
The Town Cellars roof














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.

Public Consultation

We would like to know your thoughts on the proposals to restore and open up our buildings. We are submitting a bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund and your feedback will play an important role in this process.

For the first phase of the project, we are focussing on the ground floor of the museum and the Town Cellars, which currently houses Poole History Centre.

We aim to conserve and restore the Town Cellars to its original form ‘The Kings Hall’, which was a grand wool warehouse, as well as creating a large, accessible venue for displaying important Poole maritime artefacts and an area that the community can use and enjoy.

Our consultation on the first phase of the Our Museum project will close on Friday 29 June 2018. You can find out more information and fill out an online questionnaire at www.poole.gov.uk/museumconsultation


What are the proposals for the Town Cellars?

• Repair the fabric of the building and deal with any damp issues
• Remove the 1970s mezzanine levels and create a large distinctive hall suitable for events
• Return the floor to its original level with glass areas to display some of our maritime objects
• Install a new computer generated (CGI) projection to show how people used the building in medieval times
• Relocate the History Centre to the 4th and 5th floors of the main museum building (Oakleys Mill) with improved facilities
• Create a new ground floor café in the atrium
• Create a new ground floor toilet
• Create a new ground floor shop
• Replace the current museum lift with an improved, larger lift


Why are we proposing these changes?

• Our buildings have significant historical importance
• and need urgent attention in order to conserve them.
• This will preserve our important heritage for future generations to enjoy.
• We would like to encourage more people to spend more time exploring the museum and its surroundings.
• We would like to make our buildings accessible to everyone with easy access via floor levels and lifts and consistent year-round opening times.
• We need to ensure the museum is financially sustainable for future generations to enjoy by increasing revenue through increased visitor numbers and a great café and shop.
• The renovated Kings Hall could accommodate around
• 100 people when seated, or 150 when standing.
• This would create an exciting, historic, multi-purpose
• venue for an array of community and private events
• that would be completely unique to Poole.
• We aim to connect all of our historical buildings and fantastic culture to create a thriving Museum Quarter on the Quay.

How you can get involved

You can find more information including detailed plans at www.poole.gov.uk/museumconsultation

• Fill out a questionnaire online using the link above
• or pick up a copy at any Poole library or Poole Museum
• Join us as a volunteer to bring your skills to the project
• Make a donation to help support the museum

Drop-in sessions/activities

Thursday 7 June 11-1pm
Monday 25 June 2-4pm
Drop in sessions
Come along to the museum and speak to someone face
to face about the proposals

Saturday 16 June 12-3pm 
Paye Day - Pirate trail
Swashbuckling children’s crafts and museum trail

Saturday 23 June 2pm and 3.30pm
Poole Maritime Tours
Join Captain Kate for a free guided tour of the historic museum buildings and monuments

Any questions?

Please email Rachel Martin at rachel.martin@poole.gov.uk 

Visualisation of proposed Kings Hall with logboat under glass
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