A house move like no other – the Shrewsbury Museum project

August 8, 2014

Shrewsbury Museum's unusual collections were recently moved from Rowley’s House, Shrewsbury, to their new location in the town’s £10.5 million museum and art gallery.

Devoted to prehistoric and Roman artefacts, the Medieval and Tudor period and the political and religious turmoil of the Stuart era, there was much more to this diverse project than meets the eye.

Crown Fine Art helped move some of the larger objects, including the Roman Hadrian inscription from Wroxeter Roman City and a late Elizabethan bed, former property of the Corbets - an ancient Shropshire family.

Now belonging to the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A), the bed’s move was also overseen by their Conservator, who was delighted to work with Crown Fine Art. Visit their blog for more images.

Crown Technicians put the bed to bed in the new museum
Crown Technicians place the Elizabethan bed in the new museum

The move saw similar artefacts intricately transferred from the first floor of the building through a restricted space, where a window had been taken out, on to a temporary platform. A cherry picker then lowered the objects to be securely loaded.

The transfer of the larger artefacts marked the final phase of the collection’s move to its new location.

Artefacts and objects were originally moved in September, 2013, and stored before being taken to the new site in the town center - which re-opened in May 2014.

Other objects, such as a number of Roman gravestones and columns, were packed and moved from the museum to Crown Fine Art’s secure store in 2008. They were then returned and reinstated into the new museum six years later.

The Corbet Bed in situ in Rowleys House
The Elizabethan bed in situ at Rowley’s House prior to the move

“It has been an exciting time for the museum team to see some of our iconic objects leaving the museum.” commented Emma-Kate Lanyon, Head of Collections and Curatorial Services for Shropshire Council.

“Staff and volunteers have been watching with bated breath as the Hadrianic inscription was carefully removed from the wall of the Roman Gallery. Crown Fine Art has been excellent to work with.”

Michael Festenstein, Crown Fine Art’s Special Projects Manager, said: “This particular project posed a number of challenges, from space restrictions to the sheer weight of the historic artefacts. I’m delighted that Crown Fine Art played a prominent part in safeguarding these fragile and irreplaceable works for our future generations.”

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