The ‘Story of Jersey’ exhibition on the first floor of the Museum, which opened 31 years ago, will close to the public on Sunday, 29 October to make way for a new exhibition, due to open in summer 2024. The opening will coincide with the start of a year-long trial of free entry at Jersey Museum.
Morgan Ward, Jersey Heritage’s Head of Programmes, said: “We are very excited about what the months ahead hold for Jersey Museum. The ‘Story of Jersey’ opened in 1992 as our permanent exhibition, touching on everything from the Ice Age to the Battle of Jersey and the heyday of tourism. It has done us proud over the years, telling the story of our Island’s history to thousands of visitors, but it is time for a change. We are busy creating content for the new exhibition that will tell the story of some of the most important chapters and objects in Jersey’s history. Over the next few months, we’ll be removing the old displays to make way for new ones and we can’t wait to share this new exhibition with the public next summer.”
Morgan explained that the free entry pilot at Jersey Museum would run for 12 months following the exhibition opening and had been made possible by the new Heritage Strategy, which seeks to provide greater access to heritage, as well as increased Government funding for the arts, culture and heritage sector.
He said: “We are still in the planning stages but the aim behind the free entry pilot is to ensure the Museum is open to everyone and the exhibitions, artwork and collection pieces that tell the Island’s story can be enjoyed by all. This fits with one of the main aims of our charity; to provide access to Jersey’s rich history and share the Island’s story to as many people as possible.”
The final day for the public to visit the ‘Story of Jersey’ exhibition is also the last day for people to visit Elizabeth Castle this year; the fortress will shut for the winter at the end of the day on Sunday, 29 October and reopen in March 2024. However, this is the only Jersey Heritage visitor site closing as the remaining five sites, including Mont Orgueil Castle, Hamptonne Country Life Museum, La Hougue Bie, the Maritime Museum and Jersey Museum, no longer follow the traditional tourism season and are open daily all year round.
The move to year-round opening was announced earlier this year following a decision by Jersey Heritage’s Board of Trustees.
Morgan explained: “We’d love to keep Elizabeth Castle open all year round like the rest of our sites but it’s unique location means that it becomes too difficult to reach when the weather is poor. However, all of our other visitor sites remain open daily giving Islanders – including our valued Members, who can continue to visit the sites for free as part of their Membership – and visitors plenty to enjoy throughout the year.
“As well as spending time exploring the exhibitions and grounds of our historic sites, people can visit our cafes, which remain open at Hamptonne, Mont Orgueil, La Hougue Bie and Jersey Museum – and take a site tour with our volunteers. We are also working on new additions to our existing programme of events and activity.”