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Plenty more ball room on the mezzanine floor

Posted by Marianne
February 28, 2012 in Community

When Somerset Cricket Club became stumped for space in their museum, they drew up plans for the installation of a second mezzanine floor.

Founded in 1875, the club has never won the county championship although they have won both the John Player League and the Benson & Hedges Cup twice, and the Gillette Cup on three occasions. One-day cricket has boosted their success rate, with the club reaching the final of the Twenty20 Cup four times and being victorious in 2005.

Somerset Cricket Museum is housed in the Priory Barn at Taunton, a building first erected in the early 16th century as a religious retreat but destroyed as such during the reign of King Henry VIII as part of the dissolution of the monasteries.

The building has undergone extensive restoration and refurbishment, with a mezzanine floor already in place and, following extensive negotiations with Taunton’s conservation department and English Heritage, planning permission was given for the installation of a second mezzanine floor and extensive improvements to the display cabinets.

Installing a mezzanine floor in a five hundred year old building has the advantage of allowing the original façade to be retained while substantially increasing the amount of useable space available inside. Having closed its doors to the public in September after the last match of 2011, much of the work, including better lighting and heating and a new staircase, has been completed and it is hoped that the re-vamped museum will knock visitors for six when it re-opens to the public at Easter.

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