Norton Priory has been shortlisted for a RICS North West award in the Tourism and Leisure category.
Completed in August 2016, the HLF-funded ‘Monastery to Museum 900’ project has transformed Norton Priory Museum and Gardens into a museum that celebrates the site’s 900-year history.
The project saw the undercroft – the only part of the priory still standing – incorporated into the existing museum building through the creation of a gallery space that sits above it.
Designed using forms common to an historic setting, and of a scale and mass that could have been part of a monastic complex, the viewing gallery offers visitors views out across the Priory’s ruins to improve visitor understanding of the archaeologically important medieval site.
A new entrance building was also developed to replace a previously obscure approach and to provide a central point of access to the undercroft, ground-floor exhibition space as well as improved café and retail facilities.
Predominantly made of glass, this building exposes elements of the site’s archaeology from the exterior, and serves to tie the museum’s artefacts to their historic context, while ensuring that the site’s centrepiece – the medieval undercroft – is visible at the earliest point in the visitor experience; inviting visitors to explore the site
The finished project has increased the museum’s exhibition space by 60% allowing the full breadth of the museum’s collections to go on display for the first time. In just three months after reopening, the museum trebled its visitor numbers, welcoming more than 10,000 people.
The RICS awards, North West, highlight the most inspirational regional initiatives and development in land, property, construction, and the environment. The winners will be announced at a ceremony at The Titanic Hotel, Liverpool on 19th May 2017.