The wait is almost over… the new St Albans Museum + Gallery will open its doors on Friday 8th June 2018. I was invited to have a look around inside, as the new museum takes shape in the final countdown to opening day.
The St Albans Town Hall in the centre of the city has been transformed. Inside the new St Albans Museum + Gallery there are light, open spaces ready to become home to a range of exhibitions that will showcase St Albans and its history. There will be one permanent exhibition telling the story of St Albans from a pre-Roman settlement to modern day, as well as a programme of visiting exhibitions and events that will allow visitors to find out more about the Museum collection.
Up the stairs in the Georgian Assembly Room, artist Susie MacMurray will showcase a number of dramatic sculptures when the museum opens.
Glass walkways provide views of French Row, the medieval Clock Tower and Holywell Hill.
The octagonal Courtroom, dating from the 1830’s, has been restored and will be home to the seating area for the new St Albans Museum + Gallery Café.
In the basement the new Vault Gallery will open with the First Impressions exhibition which will explore 500 years of printing in St Albans.
Underneath the courtroom you’ll also be able to explore the Historic Cells that were once used to hold defendants ahead of court hearings. The bare brick walls, heavy doors and iron grills are an eerie and fascinating reminder of the rich history of the Town Hall, which has been given a new lease of life in this latest restoration and renovation project.
There’s still lots to do before opening day but the building is looking fantastic and I’m looking forward to seeing the new St Albans Museum + Gallery in June 2018.
What You Need To Know
- The new museum is on Market Square, St Peter’s Street, St Albans, Hertfordshire, AL3 5DJ
- Click to find out more about the new St Albans Museum + Gallery
- The new St Albans Museum + Gallery will be free to visit and open 7 days a week
- The seating for the café is in the old courtroom and access is limited. If you have little ones then a sling is easier for navigating this space, which can’t accommodate buggies easily