YORK RESIDENCY MUSEUM Re-opens Saturday 6 November 2021

Published on Wednesday, 3 November 2021 at 3:40:16 PM

With a new roof, chimneys that will resist earthquakes and refurbished exhibitions, the last remaining part of York’s Convict Depot looks all set to shine brightly as a beacon of heritage excellence, far into the twenty-first century.

 The Museum re-opens on Saturday 6 November with free entry to Shire of York residents and free refreshments for all visitors [tea/coffee & cakes] between 11am - 3pm.

 What’s new here?

  •  The building has been a pilot project for an earthquake building mitigation study by Geoscience Australia and the University of Adelaide, whose researchers have devised innovative methods of stabilising unreinforced masonry heritage buildings against the risk of earthquake damage.
  • Major building conservation work has taken place at the same time, thanks to Shire of York and Department of Planning Lands and Heritage funding, another pilot project to demonstrate best practice in heritage building conservation.
  • As part of the process, extensive archaeological investigations were undertaken.
  • This building is not only the last remaining part of the once-extensive York Convict depot, it is the last remaining Depot Superintendents’ Quarters in the State. An area of courtyard now functions as a demonstration of an archaeological dig in progress
  • As a result of the exemplary methods used in the conservation of this important building, the Residency Museum project is now a finalist in the State Heritage Awards, in the category for Conservation or Adaptive Re-use of a State Heritage Registered Place – we are eagerly awaiting the results on 19 November. See:

https://www.dplh.wa.gov.au/information-and-services/historic-heritage/heritage-grants-and-incentives/heritage-awards/2021-western-australian-heritage-award-finalists/conservation-or-adaptive-reuse-of-a-state-register

  • The Shire of York has increased operational funding for the Museum which will have a new full-time professional Curator and two Museum Assistants, both History graduates, to increase the heritage services to the Shire and wider community.
  • The interior of the Museum has been repainted and some new objects, or those brought out of storage are taking their turn in the spotlight. Of particular interest is the Convict Depot curfew handbell, recently kindly donated by York District Hospital and a rare early C19th Judge’s Robe Case.
  • Exhibition ‘A Significant Site’ centres on the convict era and tells not only the history of the place but looks at what happened to two convicts whose lives took very different paths.
  • ‘An Irish Orphan’s Odyssey’ is the heart-warming story of an orphan girl who was transported as part of a scheme known as the ‘Bride Ships’ in the 1850s and became the matriarch of a well-known York family.

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The fascinating, Tardis-like Museum is well worth a visit and is open from 11am-3pm on Saturdays and Sundays, plus 1pm-3pm on Wednesday afternoons.

 CHRIS LINNELL, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER

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