THE museum at one of the top visitor attractions on Hadrian’s Wall will close tomorrow for six months.
It marks the start of a redevelopment project by English Heritage, the National Trust and Northumberland National Park Authority to enhance the visitor experience at Housesteads Roman Fort.
The first phase, which will total over £1m, starts with the refurbishment of the museum and will include upgrades to the interpretation and visitor facilities.
The fort itself and National Trust facilities will stay open this winter to allow visitors access free of charge throughout the planned programme of works.
The new museum at Housesteads will include an interactive and audiovisual exhibition exploring life at Vercovicium, the Roman name for Housesteads.
An exhibition will show what life was like at Housesteads using Roman finds. In the fort a series of new site interpretation panels will help visitors understand the networks and access for disabled visitors to the museum building will also be added.
Richard Polley, head of visitor operations for Hadrian’s Wall at English Heritage, said: “We are delighted our plans for the redevelopment of Housesteads Roman Fort can now finally begin.
“English Heritage and our partners at Housesteads have responded to the needs of our visitors and, as part of this redevelopment, we will repair and upgrade the museum building, create a new exciting exhibition and ultimately a better experience for visitors.
“These are exciting and carefully considered plans that will preserve and enhance an important part of Hadrian’s Wall and attract more visitors to this popular attraction. We look forward to seeing the plans progress quickly.”
Phase two of the project will see the National Trust improve the welcome for visitors, remodelling the visitor centre, toilets, shop and café with work due to take place towards the end of next year.
Northumberland National Park Authority is improving the visitor infrastructure. Improvements to the car park and access points will ultimately provide 40 additional car park spaces and better access for visitors.