The Ingatestone Museum Trust is delighted to announce that it has completed on a 25-year lease with railway operator Greater Anglia for premises to house its museum which will depict the history of Ingatestone and Fryerning parishes and the role played by the development of the Eastern Counties Railway in the mid-1800s. The premises, a disused crossing keeper's cottage adjacent to the railway crossing in Ingatestone's Station Lane, has been empty for many years and has recently been made structurally sound and weatherproof with a generous grant from the Railway Heritage Trust. Signing of the lease will enable the Museum Trust to refurbish the interior of the cottage and make it fully habitable. A further grant for the internal refurbishment of the cottage has been awarded by the Railway Heritage Trust.
Greater Anglia’s Customer and Community Engagement Manager, Alan Neville, said: “We are delighted to welcome the new museum to Ingatestone railway station and look forward to seeing it develop as a local attraction which will bring a new lease of life and secure future to this lovely old building.”
Graham Orchard, Chairman of the Ingatestone Museum Trust, said,
"Signing of the lease is a big step forward for the Museum Trust. Whilst there is still much work to be done, we can now develop our plans for a community-based museum with confidence and preserve and inject new life into an historic building”.
Paul Jeater, Chairman of Ingatestone and Fryerning Parish Council, said,
“We are delighted at long last the hurdle of the lease has been overcome and we look forward to the day of the grand opening of the museum which we are sure will be of deep interest to many residents in the parish”.
The Trust aims to have a fully functioning museum by spring 2024 and welcomes ideas and artefacts for inclusion in the Museum's exhibits.
The Gatekeeper's cottage is one of the very few left in England. The Ingatestone Museum Trust is working to refurbish and protect the building and then open it as a community museum. There will be historic displays about the development of the parish from Roman times onwards and changing displays of local work
Do contact us if you are interested in helping in any way or would like to be informed of our progress!
Etching of Ingatestone High Street