New Look Galleries for Museum's Anniversary Year
27 Jul 2023

A project is underway to improve the visitor experience at Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery, the UK’s first pre-Roman British Museum Partnership Gallery.

An exciting project to re-imagine and enhance visitor experiences at Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery is getting underway.

The project, which coincides with the 10th anniversary of the museum opening, has been made possible thanks to the Shropshire Council-owned venue being just one of nine British Museum Partnership Galleries in the UK.

SM&AG is the UK’s first pre-Roman British Museum Partnership Gallery and an award from Arts Council England’s National Portfolio fund is creating the opportunity to develop a masterplan to develop and enhance displays and the interpretation of exhibits

Robert Macey, Shropshire Council Cabinet member for culture and digital, said: “By being a Partnership Gallery we are able to focus on the national and international significance of Bronze Age Shropshire. It has already allowed us to show the fabulous Bronze Age sun pendant through the Spotlight Loan programme, but the Partnership Gallery, which we hope to open next year, will help us make the best use of the space available and enhance visitors’ experience.”

Shropshire Sun Pendant

Pictured: Bronze Age gold bulla, the 'Shropshire Sun Pendant', c. 1000-750 BC

Fay Bailey, Shropshire Council’s museums and archives manager, added: “As well as redeveloping our own Bronze Age displays to present a dedicated and dynamic narrative of local life from the Ice Age to the Romans we will be able to utilise long-term loans from the British Museum, and redistribute gallery space in the museum’s stunning Victorian Music Hall setting.

“Our next steps are to employ consultants to re-imagine the gallery space and we hope to have the masterplan in place by the end of the year. It’s an exciting time for SM&AG and an opportunity for us to maximise both our gallery space and our extensive collections.”

Redevelopment will allow the display of more of Shrewsbury Museum’s nationally significant geology and archaeology collections, much of which is currently in storage. The collection comprises over 1,000 prehistoric objects and important finds.

Shropshire is nationally and internationally recognised as a significant historic landscape, highlighting its growing research potential and showing communities from 8,000 years ago in the Shropshire landscape were well connected across Britain, Ireland and western Europe.

Fay added: “We will continue to grow our Deep History collections, especially with a focus on archaeology and ceramics and are actively collecting these items.”