2022 marked the 110 year anniversary of Aldeburgh Museum.
Established by Aldeburgh Literary Society in 1912 in a single room behind the Old International Stores in Aldeburgh High Street, it housed a mammoth tusk, stuffed birds and volumes of poetry and other items relating to George Crabbe as well as archaeological material. During WWII the museum was packed away and put into storage, after which it was set up in the Moot Hall where it resides today. The Moot Hall, a Grade I-listed Tudor building of national significance, was built as a status symbol reflecting the growing prosperity of the Borough of Aldeburgh in the mid-16th Century. It has served as the town’s court room and jail, contained shops, a Town Hall and centre of local governance.
It was by pure chance that the National Lottery Heritage Fund project to comprehensively remodel, redesign and modernise the Museum’s displays and exhibitions and set up a programme of community and education outreach activities, delayed by the pandemic finally completed in October 2022. The modernised museum now showcases Aldeburgh’s rich history through clearer and more engaging displays, uses digital media, has temporary displays; such as the infamous Bradwell Warrior last year, is an employer and has a packed annual programme of events and activities. The museum’s future is now secure for many more years.
Looking ahead into 2023 there will be children’s activities in school holidays in the museum, starting with the Montgomery Bonbon: Museum Mystery Trail running from February to end of March, the launch of memory boxes, a joint initiative with The Red House, for use in the local community and a new short film of the Royal family in Aldeburgh to coincide with the King’s Coronation. During the summer months there are evening talks and guided walks planned, the addition of more topics to our History Notes series, a children’s storyteller and a new temporary exhibition. 2023 will close with our hugely popular ‘People and Place’ Christmas exhibition in the High Street.