Museum News

Gateway Project update

By 3 November 2016January 26th, 2021No Comments

Work has continued apace with our Gateway Project!

Now that the structures of the two complexes have been erected it is possible to get a really good feel for the layout and appearance of the buildings, which externally sit comfortably in the landscape, but internally offer considerably more space than originally envisaged from the plans.

The courtyard between the two sets of buildings also offers a generous space for visitors to congregate and will also provide a very useful display area looking across the mill pond.



The tiling of the interpretation gallery roofs with Keymer tiles has been completed. Work has now started on tiling the two main anchor buildings with cleft chestnut shakes made by local woodsmen, Ben Law and Justin Owen.

Between them they have made over 50,000 shakes and the buildings will probably be two of the largest shake roofs, certainly regionally, if not nationally using local coppiced material. Our thanks to all of our supporters who have sponsored shakes and written their messages on them!


Other works

Other works are ongoing, installing services including the underfloor heating and the precision made window glazing which will give all of the buildings extensive vistas across the mill pond and the Museum site. The walls of the buildings are primarily being clad in chestnut weatherboarding.

Since draining down the mill pond in March progress has been slow, but the relining and repairs to the outside embankments and mill race will start at the beginning of November.

It is our hope that the mill pond will be ready for refilling early in the New Year. It has, after considerable discussion, been decided to level the island, which will create a wonderful vista from the new buildings across the pond to the mill and beyond.

Floating pontoons and an increased area of embankment on the northern side will form new habitats for the wildlife. We are most grateful to all our mill volunteers and Winchester City Mill for keeping our flour supplies going in the meantime.

Medieval house from Sole Street

The re-erection of our medieval house from Sole Street began with “raising the frame” in June 2016, overseen by Museum Carpenter-in-Residence, Joe Thompson.

This Heritage Lottery Funded project has been ongoing throughout the summer and autumn. The daubing of the walls has been one of the major challenges and our grateful thanks go to Alan Wood for his help on the project and to all the volunteers, trainees and staff who have contributed.

The walls continue to be wattled, daubed and then lime washed, the roofing is almost complete and we have begun to lay the brick pavers on the floor.


Car park

The new roadway which will bring traffic up the side of the Museum boundary, alongside the main road, is nearing completion. Work will continue during the winter months on re-configuration the main car park bays.

Thank you for bearing with us as we undergo this exciting new development! See how the new car park layout will look in this short animation.

Next steps

The new Gateway Project buildings, which include our new cafe, shop and visitor centre, are due to open at Easter 2017.

Until next time

We look forward to keeping you up-to-date with the next stages of our Gateway Project, so visit our website regularly and sign up for our monthly newsletter for project updates.