Specialist museum and heritage fit-out contractors have been invited to develop and deliver the interpretation of Loughborough Bellfoundry’s refreshed museum.
Located in the still-operational Grade II* Listed bellfoundry buildings in Leicestershire, the museum is part of the ‘Saving the Last Major Bellfoundry in Britain Project’, backed by donors and the National Lottery Heritage Fund.
Designs for the new-look museum have been drawn up by museum design consultancy Redman Design which will create interactive exhibition spaces. Throughout the museum, visitors will be encouraged to handle and investigate objects.
The design for the refreshed museum aims to tell the story of the site and the people who lived and worked at the buildings.
A ground floor timeline will detail the history of both the bellfoundry and the art of bellfounding, while the Patternmaker’s Gallery will display a series of objects that have been recovered from existing foundry spaces, located in the original pattern making workshop.
Dr Chrissie Van Mierlo, Museum Director at Loughborough Bellfoundry Trust, said: “More than 25,000 bells, which can be heard in more than 100 countries, have been cast here since the present bellfoundry was built in 1859 – and when you walk into the museum, you will be able to feel and appreciate all of that history as you look around. We really want to capture that authentic experience for everyone to enjoy.”
Stephen Marsh, associate and senior 3D designer at Redman Design, explained: “Our approach to the museum design has been to capture the character of Taylor’s Bellfoundry with a wide range of objects and stories on display for an in-depth experience.”
The Loughborough Bellfoundry is also known as John Taylor’s Bellfoundry, and is the last major bellfoundry in the UK and Commonwealth.
In 2016, the Loughborough Bellfoundry Trust was set up to begin the project of restoring the bellfoundry’s buildings, redeveloping the site’s museum and protecting the bellfoundry and the ancient craft of bell making for generations to come.