Work set to start on new museum 2022

Refurbishment work to create a new Knaresborough museum will start in early 2022.

Wednesday, 8th December 2021, 4:02 pm

Knaresborough Museum Association told the Post that negotiations to secure the lease on the Castle girls’ School means that they can now move closer to the new facility which will reflect the history of the town and its residents.

“We are very grateful to Harrogate Council for their support during recent negotiations to secure the lease on the Castle Girls’ School which have been going well,” said chairman Kathy Allday.

“We can confirm that we hope to be in the building to start refurbishment work in early 2022.”

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Architect Andy Pickup and his team are close to finalising architectural plans which will then be submitted for listed building consent and planning permission. “The plans will ensure we create a welcoming and accessible museum for everyone with new ramps, wheelchair platform lift and wheelchair accessible toilet being an integral part of our planned refurbishment programme,” addded Kathy.

“A new entrance and internal modifications are also planned.”

KMA have secured the services of an architectural designer John Quinn who has 25 years of experience working in the museum sector and is currently drawing up plans for eight exhibition zones, starting with a design for the story of the Gorge.

Recent donations of geological exhibits and prehistoric artefacts will enhance the display as will James McKay’s artwork.

Kathy added: “James is producing five paintings to show how Knaresborough looked 350 million years ago when Knaresborough was home to giant reptiles.

“A prehistoric scraper found in Boroughbridge Road, teeth from an Aurochs and a 5,000 year old polished hand axe and arrowhead, will be some of the many artefacts that will help to build an extraordinary picture of the hunter gatherers and the first Neolithic farmers that used to live here.”

Recent archaeological survey and research work on the former Trinitarian Priory and in Spitalcroft has been undertaken by members of 3D and Nidderdale archaeology groups on our behalf.

The results of ongoing archaeological and research work (including the discovery of exciting illuminated medieval manuscripts produced by the Knaresborough friars) will be revealed once the museum is open.