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First look inside Hull’s Maritime Museum as Court Room ceiling undergoes refurbishment

We got to go and have a new look inside Hull’s Maritime Museum, the first time we’ve been able to see the progress inside since 2022.

Lincoln Conservation are currently three weeks into an eight-week programme to clean and remove centuries of dust, dirt, smoke, and debris, revealing them once again as they would have been when the building opened in 1871. They have, so far, revealed a dramatically lighter scheme of beige paintwork with details picked out in gold.

The frieze, column capitals and ornate mouldings surrounding the historic ceiling of the Court Room within the Grade II listed building are being repaired and cleaned by the specialists to bring them back to their original splendour.

There are maritime motifs throughout the building including in the form of shells and starfish on the Court Room ceiling, as part of the repair works a number of those that were missing or broken have been repaired.

Repairs to the ceiling are also being undertaken, in addition to re-stained and varnished oak flooring, new windows installed, and original windows onto the building’s central lightwell opened up. Behind the scenes, a small lift (dumb waiter) from the new café downstairs will help the building become an exciting and unique new space for functions and temporary exhibitions.

The restoration of the Court Room is part of the wider programme, funded by Hull City Council and The National Lottery Fund, to transform the former Dock Offices into a 21st-century museum for everyone to learn and enjoy.

Councillor Rob Pritchard, Portfolio Holder for Culture and Leisure, said: “As scaffolding continues to be removed following extensive roof repairs and restoration, work to the interior continues.

“The Court Room is a beautiful space, and we know how important this room is to the people and the city. The work being done will reawaken the magic of the building and ensure that one of the best rooms in Hull continues to be here for everyone.”

Extensive work has been completed on the roof with new glass to create a new atrium, the restoration of three domes, restoration, and cleaning of the stonework on the exterior of the building. The scaffolding is now being taken down to reveal the beauty of the building once again.  

The Maritime Museum is expected to reopen in Spring 2025.   

Hull Maritime is a major regeneration project funded by Hull City Council and The National Lottery Heritage Fund. It encompasses the major refurbishment of Hull Maritime Museum and Dock Office Chambers, the creation of a new attraction at North End Shipyard, the new home for the restored Arctic Corsair, and the restoration of the Spurn Lightship.

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