Urgent repairs at Wisbech Museum due to start

Wisbech Museum urgent repair works

Scaffolding has gone up at Wisbech and Fenland Museum as work to repair its roof gets underway. - Credit: Wisbech and Fenland Museum

Work to make urgent repairs to Wisbech and Fenland Museum is due to get underway this month. 

Scaffolding has gone up as the museum’s leaking roof prepares to be replaced by contractor Brown and Ralph of Longstanton. 

The work to restore the museum, which will cost £684,000, is due to be completed by the end of September. 

Heritage at Risk
Wisbech Museum, Museum Square, Wisbech, Cambridgeshire.
View from south east.

What Wisbech and Fenland Museum looked like before scaffolding was put up. - Credit: Historic England Archive

Peter Day, site manager for Brown and Ralph, said: “We'll be replacing the roof which is leaking, causing water damage to timbers and plaster. 

“The timber-framed glazed 'lantern' that admits natural light to the Townshend Room and another pitched glazed structure above the laylights over the main gallery will be completely overhauled. 

Wisbech Museum repair work

The lantern to the Townshend Room will be completely overhauled as part of the repair work. - Credit: Wisbech and Fenland Museum

Wisbech Museum urgent repair work

What the Townshend Room lantern at Wisbech and Fenland Museum looks like from outside. - Credit: Wisbech and Fenland Museum

“We've already made a start on repairing some of the original sash windows, replacing sash cords, getting some to open again and building up others where they've come adrift of their frames through settlement.” 

Robert Bell, museum curator, added: “We had to shut off the Townshend Room and the collection displayed there in 2019 because of water leaking from the roof, which caused the ceiling to collapse.  

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“Something had to be done.” 

Wisbech Museum repair work

Left: the main gallery showing laylights which will be removed as part of the repair work. Right: the museum's main gallery now. - Credit: Wisbech and Fenland Museum

Wisbech and Fenland Museum received a £616,000 grant from Historic England in January to go towards long-term roof repairs after the museum was placed on the Heritage at Risk register in 2018.