We recently wrote about the award made by Museum Estates and Development Fund (MEND) to restore and upgrade the historically important Bagging Shed area of our Museum.
It is one of a set of interconnected buildings that currently serves as the entrance to the Museum as well as our shop.
It houses the grinding mill, No. 1 lime kilns and the locomotive shed as well as marking the original route of the railway into the site from the main line. In this sense, it is an important part of the original chalk and limeworks site.
The intention of the upgrade is to give visitors a much better introduction to, as well as an understanding of the various activities carried out in this part of the site. We will be able to present the following historic chalk quarrying and lime production elements carried out in this area in a more effective and interesting way, better demonstrating:
- the use of No. 1 kiln in creating the lime from chalk and coal;
- how the grinding mill was used to turn the fired lime into powder
- where the bagging and loading of the lime on the railway wagons which waited in the bagging shed.
It will also help ensure that the kiln and grinding mill, as well as the locomotive and bagging sheds will be better conserved.
It will work with the exhibition next to the De Witt Kilns that shows the working life of local people at the chalk pits to complete the picture of the processes developed by the Pepper family to generate hydrated lime from the grey and the white chalk quarries, which encompass the Museum.
We are also intending to make it easier for visitors to navigate the entrance, improving the ramp access in particular.
The following designs provided by Pritchard Architecture give a better picture of the changes being made. The front will have a new door as well as a glazed wall showing a picture of the Marshall locomotive used historically at the Museum.
The side of the building will be subject to conservation repairs only.
Work has begun on the project now and regular updates are being provided on our social media sites.