The Museum is delighted to have been awarded £224,500 from the DCMS/Wolfson Museums and Galleries Improvement Fund as part of its £4 million grant for English Museums and Galleries.
The funds enable us to immediately begin an exciting project to reconstruct two significant but currently dismantled historic buildings – the Newdigate bakehouse and Eastwick Park dairy – here at the Museum. Once re-erected, they will be used to showcase heritage food production for our visitors.
With its origins in the 17th century, the bakehouse is from the village of Newdigate, near Dorking, in Surrey. It housed an extensive Victorian bakery when it was dismantled in the 1980s. Its reconstruction will give the Museum a working historic bakery in which to demonstrate the art of baking.
The Museum’s ultimate aim is to supply goods made from its own wheat, harvested by its own heavy horses, and threshed and milled on site (using its 17th century watermill). For further reading, please see this earlier article by the Newdigate Local History Society.
Eastwick Park Dairy
This unusual – originally thatched – model dairy from the Eastwick Park Estate in Surrey dates from circa 1807. It comprises two octagonal brick buildings linked by a covered but open walkway.
Its restoration and reinstatement will offer another working building linked to food production, where traditional dairying techniques can be demonstrated.
This exciting new project will develop our educational programme, be a delight for visitors and grow the accessibility of our collections. It is our plan to open the completed buildings in spring 2019.
Two small building compounds for the dairy and bakehouse have been erected on the grassed areas adjacent to our watermill. Digging and laying the foundations for both structures began on Saturday, 24 June and building work was completed within a week.
We hope that you enjoy watching these two fascinating new exhibits take shape over the coming months.