Local residents cannot have helped but notice the changes that have been happening at Petersfield Museum’s home at the old police station and courthouse over the past month. Wooden hoardings have gone up in front of the police station on St Peter’s Road, there is scaffolding along the length of the lane (twitten) leading to Hylton Road and delivery lorries dropping off building supplies regularly.
This is all happening as part of the museum’s renovation and expansion project, ‘Pathways into the Past’. We will be keeping local residents up to date with the project regularly, allowing you to see what’s going on behind the grey hoardings!
Since construction started on the 29th of July all the demolition work has been completed, including the old 1960’s garages, the dog kennels and outside storage areas. There has also been extensive work carried out internally with all the new gallery spaces having been made. Despite the large amount of demolition, no change will happen to the fabric of the original Victorian building which will have a face lift but no alterations throughout the entirety of the project.
After demolition comes the rebuilding and this has also started with the steel framework for the Flora Twort Gallery having been erected between the courthouse and the partitioning wall with the school. The foundations have been laid for the framework for the link building which will connect the police station to the courthouse along the line of the twitten. This is where the story of the history of Petersfield will be told in the new museum.
Throughout the process of demolition and construction the contractors are in communication with archaeologists to ensure that no archaeology is destroyed. This process has included archaeologists watching the foundation holes as they are being dug. In one of the holes bones were found!.... but everyone gave a sigh of relief when they were identified as dog bones, probably from a pet buried in the garden of the old police station.
Along with the large-scale changes that have been taking place there continues to be great attention to detail. The contractors have been repointing and replacing missing coping stones along the wall running between the infant school and the museum and in order to get the new stones to blend in with the old they are using a little-known technique… covering the new stones in yogurt and soot. The yogurt makes the soot stick to the stones and encourages mould to grow on the soot. The end result will be that the newly added sections of wall will look like they have been there since its construction over 100 years ago!