Westgate to reopen on 9th February

The Westgate museum will reopen to visitors In February following several months of vital repair work on the roof.

The Westgate - one of Winchester's most popular landmarks - has been swathed in scaffolding over the winter while the old lead roof, which dates back to 1898, was replaced. The repair work was carried out by Salisbury based Chalke Valley Roofing. Improvements have also been made to the decking to allow visitors easier access to the fine views over Winchester and the surrounding countryside.

The building is a scheduled ancient monument, which means that English Heritage has been involved in all stages of the repair work. Specialist conservators have also been involved to ensure that the stunning Tudor ceiling in the museum was not damaged during the work.

Cllr Patricia Stallard, the City Council's Portfolio Holder for Heritage, Culture and Sport, said: "The Westgate is a much-loved part of the heritage of our District. It is one of the five gates on the mayoral crest, and for many of us is part of our everyday journey to the shops, to work, or to school. Although budgets are tight at every level of government in this difficult financial climate, the City Council is committed to protecting its heritage and is pleased to be giving a new lease of life to the museum."

High winds back in November meant that the work had to start slightly behind schedule. However, the team from Chalke Valley Roofing doubled their workforce and continued working hard through the recent snowy weather to ensure that the project would be finished on time.

Final electrical works will be carried out later in February, but will not impact on the museum’s programme of events which includes the popular annual muster of the Sealed Knot on Sunday 14th February.

The Westgate museum reopens to visitors on Tuesday 9th February 2010. Opening times are Mon-Fri: 10am to 4pm, Sun: 12pm to 4pm.

Admission is free.