Shortlisted for the Museum and Heritage Awards 2009
The Athelstan museum was a dark and cluttered repository of local curiosities with very little in the way of narrative to bring it all together. The story of Malmesbury, which includes aspects pivotal to the history of England, needed to be told, and the design and layout of the museum re-thought.
SolidArt divided the story of Malmesbury into sections and created a trail through the museum. During a series of weekly meetings with staff, we designed each section to incorporate relevant artefacts and host meaningful interpretation text. We used historical illustration and interactive features to bring the story to life, including a model of the town, a secret opening tomb, a sectional architectural model of the great Abbey, interactive laser pointers, dressing up and more. Display cabinets were hand crafted in maple and aesthetic touches used to enhance visitor experience.
Athelstan museum became a major destination for tourists, schools and locals immediately it reopened, and has continued to go from strength to strength. It has an energetic and expanding group of volunteers who enthusiastically run the museum with great pride. Many visitors have commented on how interesting, unexpected and pivotal the story of Malmesbury is.