About Us: The History of the Maldon Museum in the Park
The Maldon Museum in the Park has a long and rich history:
The Museum was established in the early 1920’s as ‘Maldon Borough Museum’ on the site of what was later to become the original Fire Station on London Road, almost opposite The Old Court House. There is now a newer fire station on Spital Road just past West Station Yard heading towards Danbury and Chelmsford.
In 1938 when the London Road fire station was built, the museum collection was briefly moved into buildings owned by the old Maldon Borough Council on the High Street.
In 1939, at the outbreak of the Second World War, the collection was put into storage in a shed next to the Maldon Borough Council offices on Market Hill (which is now the Hill House development) however many original items were lost or damaged beyond repair.
Sometime after, Market Hill resident Mrs Cath Backus discovered the remains and began re-building the collection. She formed the ‘Maldon District Museum Association’ with a group of like minded people.
In 1968 the association installed the remnants in some rooms above a shop named Mathews in the High Street. This is now where Prezzo stands. The museum remained at this location under the direction of Mrs Backus and began to grow in size and relevance to the town. The space however was becoming limited and the museum moved to new premises in the Spindles building on Church Walk behind where the Oak House is now about 1990.
In 1996 the Park-keeper’s Lodge at the main gates of the Promenade Park on Mill Road became vacant and Maldon District Council (the current local authority succeeding Maldon Borough Council) consented to the association setting up the Museum in the house which was built in 1915, as Promenade Lodge, from a bequest by Colonel Cramphorn.
The District Council maintains the building but the association, run entirely by unpaid volunteers, pays all other expenses by raising money from membership, grants, entrance fees and other fund-raising events.
The Museum changed its charity status from the old Maldon District Museum Association to the new Maldon Museum in the Park in our pursuit for full accreditation. We are still a registered charity, our number being 1185595. The Museum is run by a Committee made up entirely of unpaid volunteers who, like all of our volunteer Stewards, donate their time to maintain the running and existance of one of Maldon's local cultural landmarks.