You have just a couple of weeks to visit Walthamsow’s Vestry House Museum before it closes for two years of renovation works.
Situated in Walthamstow Village, the building, now Grade II listed, was constructed in 1730 to house the parish workhouse and was later used as a police station, an armoury, a builders’ merchants and a private home. In 1931, the building opened to the public as a local history museum, which has been its use ever since.
The revitalisation project will transform the local history museum, including an enhanced heritage and community offer, improved access, new creative workspaces and a café. Currently, the building doesn’t have a lift, and the plans will look at how one can be added to the listed building to make it accessible. To create more space, they plan to move the items currently kept in storage to an external location, and then they can offer workrooms to rent and spaces to hire, all bringing in revenues to fund the museum’s operations.
The revitalisation of Vestry House Museum is being supported by £4.5m from the borough’s Levelling Up Fund (including £800k match funding from Waltham Forest Council).
The museum will close on Saturday 23rd December 2023, and is expected to remain closed until early 2026.
The garden will remain open until 18th February 2024, after which, the whole site will be closed until the renovation project is completed.
During the closure, the borough’s archives and local studies library search room will be relocated to Walthamstow Library and will remain open to use. Some of the objects in the museum collection will also go on temporary loan during the closure so they can still be seen, and some may remain on long-term loan in local locations if some are found.
The renovation project is being delivered by Studio Weave Architects.