Godalming Museum is charming, uplifting, well designed and welcoming. Run by a Trust it has a two permanent staff, a curator and a volunteer manager. It gets about 16000 visitors which is good for a small museum in a small town. If you are in Godalming it is worth a visit. It has just reopened post Covid-19 (May 2021) and has a new gallery.
The garden is a Gertrude Jekyll garden with a replica summer house from her garden at Munstead Wood. Inside there is a Jekyll and Lutyens gallery designed to reflect the Arts and Craft style
Upstairs is the childrens gallery which normally has loads of things to touch and play with under the wooden tree sculpture. Covid has meant they have been removed temporarily but the gallery also introduces the Godalming story.
Next door is the most recent gallery packed with objects. The museum invested in new cases primarily to meet the request of people frustrated that so much is hidden in stores. So objects are packed into the cases but presented well with good lighting design.
The gallery has a mixture of machinery and the setting, a 15th century building provides plenty of character. The ceiling has been removed to reveal the medieval timbers and this is an enjoyable way to discover how the building has changed over the centuries.
The garden was laid out in the 1980s but the museum itself has been gradually upgraded over the last 20 years. It has been a gradual process but Godalming Museum shows what can be done on a relatively small scale. The museum is run by volunteers who I always find welcoming. The shop is well stocked and the museum prides itself on being a friendly place especially for children. For years the entrance was a side door next a shop but there is now a shop window with a model train that stops many a family passing by