An artist’s impression of Whitehall Museum in Cheam after the renovation work is completed.
Whitehall Museum is to close to the public for major refurbishment from Sunday 10 April.
The Grade II* listed building, which is a rare example of 16th-century domestic architecture in the heart of Cheam Village, is closing for renovation work and will reopen in the summer of 2017.
The work is being funded by a £1.5m grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, £140,000 from the London Borough of Sutton and £10,000 from the Friends of Whitehall.
Vital repairs to the building to be carried out include tackling a damp problem and removing some intrusive 20th-century fixtures while other original features are restored.
Lack of space in the Tudor building has restricted the number of visitors and volunteers who can enjoy the museum. However, the restoration work and internal adaptations with a new extension for a new lift will make the house more accessible for all in and around the building as well as create additional meeting space for local groups and for school visits.
The refurbishment and renovation work is to be carried out by the Kent-based building company R. Durtnell & Sons, a member of the Considerate Constructors Scheme that is believed to be the oldest family-owned building firm in Britain, having been founded in 1591.
While the Whitehall Museum is closed, its team will be running a pop-up museum at local fairs and community events in order to whet the community’s appetite for when the restored building reopens next year. The Friends of Whitehall will also continue to run activities and events in Cheam, particularly at the Parochial Rooms and Cheam Library while the museum is closed.
Cllr Jill Whitehead, Chair of the Environment and Neighbourhood Committee at Sutton Council, said:
“The redevelopment of the Whitehall Museum is of major significance to the borough as it is one of our oldest and most-historic buildings. When the redevelopment is completed in 2017, Whitehall Museum will be the historical hub of our borough, attracting more and more people to spend time and money and learn more about our heritage.”