DISPLAYS not changed for 20 years or so have been given a new lease of life at a county museum.
Over the last 12 months, a team of volunteers has been working to re-display Dorset’s smallest museum, the Corfe Castle Town Trust Museum, at Corfe Castle.
Despite its size, the museum gets a footfall of more than 50,000 people each year, so the volunteers said it is important the museum packs a punch for both visitors and residents alike.
“The displays were looking a little forlorn and hadn’t been changed for couple of decades,” a spokesperson said.
As part of the overhaul, the Corfe Castle Town Trust’s volunteers team has:
• Worked with the Jurassic Coast Trust to research and re-display the museum’s dinosaur trackway
• Commissioned paleo-artist Mark Witton to create a large-scale visualisation of the Iguanodon, based on the trackway’s footprints
• Commissioned designers to create new graphics which feature high-quality photographic and artistic images
• Introduced some interactive elements, including an audio-quiz featuring intriguing Dorset dialect phrases
• Delivered a history engagement project at the local primary school involving pupils researching and creating short films detailing historic buildings around the village
• Showcased new artefacts, from a Civil War cannon ball, to an original 1500s stained glass window from Corfe Castle.
Louise Haywood, chair of the Corfe Castle Town Trust, said: “It’s been rewarding to redisplay our gem of a museum and share the history of Corfe Castle village through new artefacts and reinvigorated displays.
“We’re definitely the small museum with a big story to tell.
“We’ve really appreciated the guidance and support of Dorset Council’s Museum Development Service which has enabled us to access conservation, interpretation, and design expertise.
“We’re looking forward to welcoming lots of new visitors over the coming months.”
Cllr Laura Beddow, Dorset Council’s portfolio holder for culture and communities, added: “Dorset has an amazing range of museums, of all shapes and sizes and it’s great to see our small volunteer run museums making such significant strides to improve their offer and appeal to visitors.
“Corfe Castle is one of our county’s most historic villages but it’s also a really thriving community, so it’s fantastic to see that both young and older people from the area have been involved in researching and creating these exciting new displays.”
The Museum is housed on the ground floor of the Old Town Hall at Corfe Castle and is open daily, with free entry.