The Grade 2 listed building has a fascinating history as the Gaol of the Bishop of Ely. It was originally converted into a museum in 1997, with the addition of a small extension, and numerous internal alterations which obscured the historic plan form and features. Our project will strip out the unsympathetic alterations so that historic features, such as the original medieval stair and prisoner graffiti, can be celebrated as part of the museum displays and experience. An additional storey will be added to the 1997 extension, clad in handmade local tiles and with a beautiful copper-clad bay window overlooking Lynn Road, acting as a beacon for the museum.
The plans will also make the whole building fully accessible for the first time, adding a lift and ensuring that all the floors are level throughout. All the museum displays will be renewed, allowing unique items such as the Gold Torc to be showcased fittingly alongside other treasures from the Museum’s collections. It will improve archive and storage facilities, and enable the museum to improve its income, ensuring its future sustainability.