St Barbe Museum Trust
St Barbe Museum, Lymington
This intriguing museum is dedicated to the market town and port of Lymington and the smugglers, salt makers and boat builders who have used the Solent Shore.
We worked with the contractor to create a cohesive link between a series of eclectic displays and give the museum a colourful new structure that visitors could easily understand.
Our challenge was to create a display that united everything from sea fishing and geology, to smuggling and industry. We also developed a temporary gallery that would allow St.Barbe to loan paintings and objects from the National Maritime Museum.
A pathway was created to weave through the gallery sections.
We used the idea of a path from the sea, inland, past the marshes to the town, to create a cohesive easily accessible storyline structure. The final installation creates an atmosphere unique to Lymington as its concept is based on the character and history of the town.
The diving figure creates a dramatic focus for the Bathing Beauties section.
We looked for ways to use all of the space available including the open pitched ceiling. Combined with the winding path layout and the vast detailed backdrops, the varied shapes of the display create an intriguing environment for visitors, with new discoveries at each turn.
Scenic backdrops are used to define each section.
We commissioned illustration in the evocative style of early 20th century travel posters. Not only do they create a warm and inviting atmosphere, but the style is also wholly appropriate, as Lymington became a popular holiday destination once the railway link bought people to the sea. This solution creates a dramatic setting on a low budget.
The interactive smuggler is a very popular exhibit for children.
Visitors are encouraged to search his clothes for smuggled goods. Interactive exhibits such as this are embedded within the setting of each section of the gallery, helping to engage children and inspire them to make discoveries throughout their visit.
“A very intelligent museum, wonderful for children. My boys didnʼt want to leave.”
“Excellent! Very interactive and great hands-on learning.”
“The museum is a wonderful place to visit and after three trips there is still so much to see.”