Bridgwater Museum
Copyright © Bridgwater Blake Museum 2016
Privacy First-hand Cookies are neither requested nor generated by this site
In 1986 a working party reported on the future development of the museum, and this included the need for a ten-year development plan. Steps were to be taken to arrange for additional accommodation by: 1) Gaining access to the ground floor of Lonsdale House, next door, and running up Blake Street. 2) Acquiring the Mill for expansion there. Later, in 1987 a fire-escape was provided from the upper floor, and it was proposed that a veranda be constructed in the lower garden to protect the brick and tile collection displayed there. The acquisition of the mill was planned for 1988-90. A tea-room  in the lower garden was planned for 1990-96. The Bridgwater Museum Development Trust was established in 1988 to purchase the Mill, which was achieved in 1991. Museum artefacts began to be stored there. Sketch plans were produced for developing the Museum in 3 phases, but without the Mill. A feasibility study for expanding  the Museum into the mill was published in 1991. Plans for the Mill prepared by Mr John Foden were passed by the Planning Committee in mid -1993. Schedule of the phased reconstruction work of the  Mill published, November 1993. Cost estimated to be £12,000. Plans for the phased restoration of the mill wheel and drive shaft were agreed, and the work began in January 1994. A new Management Committee to be appointed, drawn from SCC, SDC, Charter Trustees and others to oversee the work on the Mill. 1995, June. The Mill was partially destroyed by fire. Following the fire, the Forward Plan was updated, covering the next five years and a Feasibility Plan produced, which concluded that the rebuilding was to be a long-term project. Draft plans were drawn up and a Museum Design report was produced by a consultant in1996. This was deferred in 1997, pending funding being available. As a safety measure the upper walls of the mill were lowered to first floor level, and the rubble allowed to remain within the structure. The Bridgwater Museum AssociationTrust and afterwards the Friends of Blake Museum, pressured the Council to develop the mill. Proposals were made in 2002 for it to be used as a centre for the Museum's photographic collection, but without avail. The Mill remained in limbo until after the transfer to the Town Council in 2009. In the winter of 2009-10, a new tiled and insulated roof was made to that part of the mill that was still standing and electricity was laid on. The rooms are used to store the Museum's collection of Archaeo-logical remains, some larger objects and a small museum workshop. Soon after this, the mill was cleared of all the rubble left after the walls were made safe, following the fire. In the winter of 2013-14 a wooden floor was laid to replace that over the cellar that was burnt in the fire, so giving a level access to the mill from Blake Street. We are now investigating the practicalities of re-building the mill as an extension to the Museum.
The later development of the Museum
If you wish to use any of the images contained within this website, please ask for permission first. Please do not steal other peoples work.
Development 1987
Development 1991
Development 1993
Development 1997