National Lottery Heritage Fund and others funded the restoration and refurbishment of the Grade II listed Old Gaol at Ely Museum in the city centre. The aim was to allow more visitors to view historic collections. Our work involved:
- Creating improved display spaces and visitor facilities
- Renewing and redefining the permanent galleries
- Reorganising the internal layout including stripping out the internal partitions, external porch and existing roof (from a 1997 extension)
- Building a new first floor extension (above the existing 1997 extension)
- Refurbishing the existing building including new finishes and lighting, and upgraded heating system
- Constructing a new porch
- Removing existing stairs and adding new stairs
- Installing a new platform lift
- Creating a large community hall and new offices on the first floor
Through a new stairwell, visitors can now access the upper floor displays and community hall. The old stone wall of the Old Gaol was made into a unique feature as were the Gaol cells doors hang on the wall.
Handmade Gault tiles cover the new roof on the first floor. They were aesthetically designed using the same materials as other buildings in the area.
The restoration and refurbishment was well received by visitors and we were proud to be part of this historic project. The museum now has practical open plan areas for displays, as well as high quality staff and community amenities.
To mark the end of a successful project, a time capsule was placed in the first floor chimney for future generations to enjoy.