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Chelmsford Museum wins VisitEngland Accolade

Visit England Award For Museum

Chelmsford Museum has been presented with an award for its engaging storytelling. The museum was awarded Best Told Story in VisitEngland’s Visitor Attraction Accolades.

It is the second year in a row that the museum’s offer has been recognised by VisitEngland after the Hive Café at the museum won a Quality Food & Drink Visitor Attraction Accolade in 2021. 

VisitEngland’s Accolades were introduced in 2014. The awards are based on scores received during annual assessments. They acknowledge the very best of England’s tourism experiences, from museums, farm attractions, and historic houses to churches, cathedrals, and country parks.

VisitEngland’s Director Andrew Stokes said:

"It’s so exciting to see our brilliant attractions providing outstanding experiences for visitors and to recognise and showcase the variety and quality across the country.

England has unmissable visitor attractions and experiences that deliver world-class customer service. They also provide the warmest of welcomes and unforgettable storytelling that connects the whole experience, including retail and food and drink offers that exceed expectations."

Andrew Stokes, VisitEngland Director
Museum Staff With Award
Some of Chelmsford Museum’s team members with the award

Telling the story of Chelmsford

Chelmsford Museum has been located at Oaklands House since 1930, though it was founded back in 1835. Improvements in recent years have considerably enhanced the museum’s offer. In 2010, an extension was built and, in 2019, the museum’s galleries were renovated in a project which was part funded by The National Heritage Lottery Fund.

The layout of the galleries allows visitors to take a walk through Chelmsford’s history, from the Ice Age to the Tudor period and through to the present day. The wide range of objects represented truly bring the city’s history to life. Visitors can see the remains of mammoths, gaze at the rare Roman figure wearing a woollen cloak called a ‘birrus Britannicus’, view an oil painting of Chelmsford High Street in 1794 and enjoy works by esteemed Turner Prize-winner Grayson Perry.

Chelmsford City Council’s Deputy Leader, Cllr Marie Goldman, says the accolade further demonstrates the museum’s appeal to visitors.

"Chelmsford Museum has proven once again to be a ‘must-see’ attraction. VisitEngland’s prestigious award provides national recognition of the museum’s exceptional storytelling. This accolade would not have been possible without the commitment of the staff and volunteers who have helped to shape the museum. I congratulate them all on this well-deserved award."

Cllr Marie Goldman, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Connected Chelmsford

Fun for the family

The museum also offers plenty for families and was recently voted Best Museum for the fourth time in a row in the 2022 Essex Mums Awards.

Essex Mums Award For Museum

The award recognises the museum’s varied interactive activities for families. Children can enjoy explorer trails; an illusion of an Anglo-Saxon burial; and lots of hands-on activities, including Roman mosaic making and dressing up.

Museums Manager, Sarah Davies, is proud that the museum team’s hard work has been acknowledged.

"My team is extremely passionate about sharing Chelmsford’s history with the wider community. They work tirelessly to care for the museum’s displays and to share them with audiences across Chelmsford. I know this award will mean a great deal to our staff and volunteers."

Sarah Davies, Museums Manager

Visit now

Plan your visit to experience the story of Chelmsford. The museum is open every day (including bank holidays) from 10am.

Forecast22 – Broadcasting Across the Ether is included as part of a visit to the museum until 12 March 2023. The temporary exhibition explores Writtle’s role in broadcasting history through a digital artwork and recorded performances.

During October half term, Hocus Pocus returns to the museum. Families can explore the history of witchcraft and the origins of Halloween from Saturday 22 to Sunday 30 October. Find out more about the museum’s activities on their social media pages.

Join the team

Are you passionate about museums and local heritage? Do you enjoy engaging with the community? Chelmsford Museum is hiring this month. If you’re interested in joining our team, please visit our jobs portal to find out more and follow us on social media to be the first to hear of new opportunities.

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Cherelle Nightingill
Cherelle Nightingill

Cherelle writes about Chelmsford Theatre, Hylands Estate, Chelmsford Museum, the Mayor of Chelmsford and culture and events in the city.