Community museum plans to open in 2022

An opening date of next year has been highlighted for a new museum in Knaresborough.

Friday, 6th August 2021, 11:25 am
Kathy Allday of Knaresborough Museum Association outside the Castle Girls School, Knaresborough. Picture Gerard Binks
Kathy Allday of Knaresborough Museum Association outside the Castle Girls School, Knaresborough. Picture Gerard Binks

The Knaresborough Museum Association said they are in the process of applying for up to £60,000 in grant funding on top of the £43,000 already raised to enable their ambitious plans to become a reality.

“Although there have been Covid related delays in negotiations with Harrogate Council to secure the Castle School building for the museum, it is anticipated an agreement to lease the building will be signed soon and that the museum will open in 2022,” said Kathy Allday, Chairman of KMA.

Kathy added that one of the proposed displays in the new Museum, which aims to tell the story of past residents and the town, include plans to reconstruct part of Marigold’s Boat where museum visitors will be able to sit on the wooden seating under the boat’s canopy to watch a lantern slide show of the Water Carnival from Victorian times to the 1960s.

And the KMA is working on a film of local children telling the story of 400 years of education in Knaresborough, the recreation of an Apothecary’s cabinet based on what the Olde Chemiste Shoppe looked like in Victorian times and the recreation of World War Two scenes which it is hoped will include walking through an Anderson Shelter.

Initial agreement has been given for KMA to borrow remains of an Aurochs, an extinct animal that roamed the area during the Ice Age, as part of its Story of the Gorge prehistory and geology display.

KMA plan to display fossils, animal remains and prehistoric tools in the museum along with paintings by James McKay of the Gorge from up to 300 million years ago.

It has also been revealed that the KMA team have started a programme of archaeological surveys in the Abbey Road and Spitalcroft area with the help of academics from Leeds, York and Americal, alson with local volunteers.

And a survey of a mysterious tunnel where lepers may have washed is starting soon.

Kathy added: “Residents and visitors will get a chance to see all these plans in more detail and much more at our biggest yet Pop Up Museum event to be held as part of FEVA on Saturday 14 and Sunday 15 August at St Mary’s Church Hall, Church Lane, Knaresborough.

“The team will be encouraging visitors to give their views on the plans on simple comments cards.

“At the event there will be tea and cakes and items for sale; a kid’s corner with quiz and children’s activities while members of the team will be there to answer people’s questions about the museum.”