Businesses help give museum a royal touch

By Gill Harris on December 18, 2018

Business leaders were among more than 250 local organisations and individuals who came together to help restore Malmesbury’s Moravian Church, which has now been officially opened as the Julia and Hans Rausing Building by the Duchess of Cornwall.

A VIP event was held this month to thank major donors and supporters who, together with grant funding, enabled Malmesbury’s Athelstan Museum to buy the derelict building and complete a major programme of restorations. 

The new multi-purpose educational, heritage, cultural and arts centre will benefit the Athelstan Museum and people all around the region. The integrity and original features of the building have been retained and combined with state-of-the-art design features, creating a stunning, exciting space. 

Sharon Nolan, chair of the Athelstan Museum, said: “As a team we are extremely proud we have restored a derelict building to its former glory, providing an added facility for the museum and a unique cultural, arts, and educational opportunity for the area.” 

The Julia and Hans Rausing Building, which is part of the Malmesbury Museum
Picture: Diane Vose

Many local crafts and trades people were involved in the project, including artist Melissa Cole, who designed and made the Moravian Star sculpture featured in the new ornamental garden; glass artist Sasha Ward; architect Jonathon Rixon; builders Andy Nurden; and stained-glass windows craftsman Mike Vincent. 

A commemorative book listing all donors and craftspeople is being compiled, together with a donor board which will be on display in the building.

Pictured above: Chas Gould points out the beautifully restored building to the Duchess of Cornwall   Picture: Diane Vose