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Letter: My Wish List For A Refurbished Guildford Museum

Published on: 24 Nov, 2016
Updated on: 25 Nov, 2016
Guildford Museum in Quarry Street.

Guildford Museum in Quarry Street.

From David Ogilvie

Architect and member of the Guildford Heritage Forum

Guildford Borough Council have recently awarded ZMMA architects £250,000 for a feasibility study of Guildford Museum and I understand that a budget of £3.1 million has been agreed for the project.

The number of museum visitors has been decreasing and it is far lower than the number of visitors to the castle. The museum, which should cover Surrey and Guildford’s social, natural and physical history and archaeology, urgently needs to increase the number of visitors and its income.

The council’s brief to ZMMA has not been made public, but I hope that it includes the following requirements:

  • Integration of the castle and the museum into one entity so that the two will feed form one another.
  • A direct link from the castle Grounds to a high level south facing terrace with views up the River Wey valley.
  • A café/restaurant to the north of this deck to serve both the museum and the castle. Leasing this restaurant will provide significant income. It should be designed so that it can be accessed when the museum is closed.
  • A generous entrance foyer set back from Quarry Street, for safety, with a shop to provide further income.
  • Extended display areas including interactive areas and the Victorian Schoolroom.
  • A dedicated lecture room with audio visual facilities big enough for a school class and for general public lectures.

There will also be a need sutiable spaces for: research, cataloguing, conservation work, storage, archivinge and a new strong room.

Space should be found for additional parking. Lifts will be needed from Quarry Street to the restaurant deck level for the elderly and disabled. In addition, a service lift will be needed to serve the new museum floors and the new restaurant.

It would also be good if room could be found for the return of the Surrey Archaeological Society.

I look forward to seeing the feasibility study that ZMMA produce and trust that it will be made public.

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Responses to Letter: My Wish List For A Refurbished Guildford Museum

  1. Valerie Thompson Reply

    November 25, 2016 at 12:48 pm

    And also better advertising. Many people have never visited the museum because they don’t know it’s there.

    The Tourist Office should advertise itself, and what Guildford has to offer, rather than filling its windows with items for sale for a hidden shop at the rear of Guildford House.

    Prominent and decorative panels should be erected around Guildford with all tourist destinations clearly marked on a map. Sites could include by the Royal Grammar School, Holy Trinity, on the pavement opposite Marks and Spencer and elsewhere.

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