Onwards and Upwards: Museum Expansion

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Celebrating our rich and unique textile heritage and creating an attraction of regional significance

We are now closed to the public so that Onwards and Upwards, our fantastic multi-million pound expansion of Trowbridge Museum supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund and Trowbridge Town Council, can begin. It will offer insight into the rich textile related heritage in the heart of the town, transforming Trowbridge Museum into a regionally significant heritage attraction by doubling its size and extending into the second floor of its premises in The Shires. It will be more accessible to a wider audience, offering improved facilities and learning opportunities for all ages. 

Currently we are removing all the objects from the displays and auditing the collections in readiness for temporary storage at Upper Heyford in Oxfordahire (the former USAF Air Force base). Before the collections can be stored they have to be heat treated to ensure nothing nasty gets stored as well – this is will be done by a German company. While the collections decant is ongoing we will be working with the designers (Smith and Jones) on the design and interpretation and the Architects (Architecton) on the finer details of the re-build. Then we have to write all the text panels for the new museum. So although we are closed there is lots going on. Despite all this, we will still be running a full programme of events, activities and workshops, including new activities detailed in the Activity Plan.

The expansion, opening in 2020, will give visitors the opportunity to engage with our textile past in Home Mill, discover new skills and be inspired by our contemporary exhibitions. It will include a range of brand new features and exhibits:

  • Expanded creative zones & workshops
  • Enhanced temporary exhibition space
  • Weaving & textile related courses
  • Costumed interpreters for mill experience
  • Handloom weaving
  • A brand new learning space
  • Meeting rooms, with a spectacular view of Trowbridge
  • Improved displays of our remarkable textile machinery

The project also offers visitors a variety of new unique experiences, where you can weave your way through the story of West of England cloth and discover innovation, revolution and riches…

  • Historic architecture
  • Unique textile machinery
  • Engaging collections
  • Hands-on experiences
  • New large library & research facility
  • Refreshment space
  • Longer opening hours
  • Enhanced accessibility