Bolton's £1.8 million plan to transform museum into major ancient Egypt tourist attraction

The Bolton News: Egyptian pharaoh Thutmose III, whose tomb will be recreated in Bolton Museum Egyptian pharaoh Thutmose III, whose tomb will be recreated in Bolton Museum

BOLTON Museum has unveiled ambitious £1.8 million plans to build a new gallery on top of the Central Library to house its world-renowned Egyptology collection — transforming it in a major tourist attraction.

The extension will house a full-scale reconstruction of the tomb of a great Egyptian Pharaoh — the only one of its kind in the world.

The Bolton News revealed in March that the burial chamber of Thutmose III will form the centrepiece of a bid being prepared by the museum as part of proposals to radically redesign the Egyptology gallery.

The project has evolved dramatically since then — from creating an additional floor level in the existing Egypt gallery to installing the facsimile tomb, to drawing up plans to build new gallery space via an extension on top of the landmark building.

A Bolton Council spokesman said: “Our initial Heritage Lottery Funding (HLF) bid in 2012 enabled us to explore a number of options with regards the Egyptology gallery and we’ve carried out consultation along the way.

“Initial plans to renovate the existing gallery have now been re-drafted to include a purpose-built gallery space, created above the museum and library building.

“Our bid for £1.8 million will remain the same, but will be slightly delayed to allow for the plans to be drawn up."

Bolton Museum is planning to submit the bid at the end of August, with a decision expected in December.

If it is given the green light “preparatory works” can start early next year.

Under the new plans, visitors will enter the new Egyptology gallery into what is now the Wildlife on Your Doorstep display — with those exhibits being relocated elsewhere in the museum — and walk through into the new extension before exiting into what is now the museum’s reception area.

Local architect Bradshaw Gass and Hope is working on the designs.

The council spokesman added: “These latest proposals will allow us to create a bespoke Egyptology gallery that will attract visitors from far and wide.

“The facsimile tomb will be the main attraction and be like no other in the world.

“With the extra space allowed for the scheme we will be able to create a far better visitor experience, with an introduction area, displays to prepare visitors for what they are about to see and further exhibition space.

“It’s an exciting and ambitious plan for the museum, and could even be subject to change, but we will be working on refining the proposals over the next few months ready for submission to HLF.”

Ian Trumble, chairman of the Bolton Archaeology and Egyptology Society, said the new plans would make Bolton the Egyptology centre of the North.

He added: “The new plans for the redevelopment of the Egyptology gallery at Bolton Museum are quite a change from what had been proposed previously.

“The proposed gallery, as it stands, would become the largest single gallery in the entire museum.

“This is something we are certainly very excited about. And rightfully so, Bolton has one of the best collections of Egyptology in the country.”

He added: “The new plans will give the museum much more freedom on how to display its material. It wont be restricted by the space as the space is being constructed from scratch.

“Very few museums in the country can say they have this opportunity.

“So it goes without saying that Bolton's Egyptology Gallery will become one of the best displayed collections in the country. As a society we are looking forward to working closely with the museum in the development of the layout.

“We have no doubt that such an amazing development will make Bolton Museum, and the town, a destination for people from all around.

“We already know that through our connections with other similar, more distant, societies that they are anticipating the new gallery as much as we are. It will certainly go quite a way to making Bolton the Egyptology centre of the North.”

THUTMOSE III

  • Thutmose III was the sixth Pharaoh of the Eighteenth Dynasty.
  • During the first 22 years of Thutmose’s reign he was co-regent with his stepmother and aunt, Hatshepsut, who was named the pharaoh.
  • After her death and his later rise to pharaoh of the kingdom, he created the largest empire Egypt had ever seen — no fewer than 17 campaigns were conducted, and he conquered from Niya in North Syria to the Fourth Cataract of the Nile in Nubi a.
  • Officially, Thutmose III ruled Egypt for almost 54 years, and his reign is usually dated from April 24, 1479 BCE to March 11, 1425 BCE; however, this includes the 22 years he was co-regent to Hatshepsut.
  • When Thutmose III died, he was buried in the Valley of the Kings as were the rest of the kings from this period in Egypt.
  • Thutmose III's mummy was discovered in the Deir el-Bahri Cache above the Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut in 1881.
  • The mummy had been damaged extensively in antiquity by tomb robbers.
  • The mummy of Thutmose III now resides in the Royal Mummies Hall of the Cairo Museum.

BOLTON’S COLLECTION

  • Bolton’s collection of ancient Egyptian material is arguably one of the most important in a British local authority museum and includes about 12,000 objects from more than 65 sites in Egypt.
  • Unlike comparable collections in the UK, the majority of the objects are excavated and thus retain full provenance information.
  • All phases of Egyptian material culture from the Neolithic Period (c. 5,000BC) to the Arab Period (7th Century AD onwards) are represented.
  • Items include textiles, basketry and boxes, funerary objects, mummies, coffins, coffin elements and cartonnage, architectural elements (wall reliefs, tomb reliefs including a false door, inscribed column fragments, beaded wall covering, painted plaster for walls and floor), ceramic, stone, faience, wood, glass, and faience vessels, amulets and jewellery, cosmetic containers, toiletry items (combs, razors, mirrors, tweezers, palettes), tools and weapons, toys, ritual objects (large bronze incense stand, incense tongs, situla; clay hair balls) and ostraca, papyri, scribal equipment.

WHERE HAS BOLTON’S COLLECTION COME FROM?

  • One of the largest and most successful local mill companies was the firm of Barlow and Jones, founded by James Barlow of Edgeworth.
  • Annie Barlow (1863-1941), James’ daughter, was recruited to the Egypt Exploration Fund (later the Egypt Exploration Society) while studying at University College London and was appointed as Honorary Local Secretary for the Bolton Region to raise money for excavations in Egypt.
  • The Egypt Exploration Society gave objects to institutions or collectors who had funded their work.
  • Annie Barlow asked for her share of the finds to be given to the Chadwick Museum, the Victorian forerunner of today’s Bolton Museum.
  • Bolton Museum was a major supporter of the Egypt Exploration Society for the next century, and a large proportion of the museum’s Egyptian collection derives from EES excavations as selected by the curators in the annual distribution of finds.
  • The first two curators of the Chadwick Museum, William Midgley (curator 1883-1906) and his son Thomas Midgley (curator 1906-1934), were specialists in the study of ancient textiles.
  • In some cases, they provided excavators with an assessment of the textiles.
  • Bolton also supported some excavations in Egypt and the Sudan beyond those of the EES such as the British School of Archaeology in Egypt and the British Museum.
  • Bolton Museum also received some donations of material including material from the Petrie Museum, Tamworth Castle, and the Wellcome Trust.
  • Bolton Museum employs a specialist collections access officer, Dr. Carolyn Routledge, to work with the Egyptian collection.

Comments (12)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

9:56am Thu 22 May 14

BIG ERN says...

Well there is sod all else in Bolton town centre other than £ shops, charity shops and those incessant street chuggers.
Well there is sod all else in Bolton town centre other than £ shops, charity shops and those incessant street chuggers. BIG ERN
  • Score: 5

11:05am Thu 22 May 14

Boltonresident2012 says...

I think it sounds like a good idea which will bring tourists, students from all over the country and can only do good for Bolton.

Hey, you never know a Certain Chippy may offer discount vouchers at the reception - all for the good of the community of course ;)
I think it sounds like a good idea which will bring tourists, students from all over the country and can only do good for Bolton. Hey, you never know a Certain Chippy may offer discount vouchers at the reception - all for the good of the community of course ;) Boltonresident2012
  • Score: 7

11:44am Thu 22 May 14

newlind says...

Absolutely excellent idea. Bolton has such a plethora of Egyptian artefacts and they're rarely seen by members of the public. Whilst other councils are selling off their wares to raise funds, i actually think this is a decision that the council have made for the public good. It's shows such cultural diversity and an excellent learning resource for families with children who often have to pay transport costs to visit out -of-town museums.
Absolutely excellent idea. Bolton has such a plethora of Egyptian artefacts and they're rarely seen by members of the public. Whilst other councils are selling off their wares to raise funds, i actually think this is a decision that the council have made for the public good. It's shows such cultural diversity and an excellent learning resource for families with children who often have to pay transport costs to visit out -of-town museums. newlind
  • Score: 8

11:47am Thu 22 May 14

mark foley says...

ha! let hope thay dont buy any egyptian artefacts like the last one they got made in farnworth ..................an
other white finks
ha! let hope thay dont buy any egyptian artefacts like the last one they got made in farnworth ..................an other white finks mark foley
  • Score: 3

11:51am Thu 22 May 14

Thatissowrong says...

Splendid. Good news for once.
Splendid. Good news for once. Thatissowrong
  • Score: 9

11:53am Thu 22 May 14

mark foley says...

The town is falling into a 3rd world state.....£1 - Shops and news stands, and empty shops , and a new bus station , well i must say the bus station will be very handy next to the trains, so i can get of the bus and straight on the train to go shopping in manchester..........
.........back handers comes to mind
pityfull
The town is falling into a 3rd world state.....£1 - Shops and news stands, and empty shops , and a new bus station , well i must say the bus station will be very handy next to the trains, so i can get of the bus and straight on the train to go shopping in manchester.......... .........back handers comes to mind pityfull mark foley
  • Score: -11

11:54am Thu 22 May 14

mark foley says...

Boltonresident2012 wrote:
I think it sounds like a good idea which will bring tourists, students from all over the country and can only do good for Bolton.

Hey, you never know a Certain Chippy may offer discount vouchers at the reception - all for the good of the community of course ;)
another out of touch bolton resident ....must be from Bulgaria
[quote][p][bold]Boltonresident2012[/bold] wrote: I think it sounds like a good idea which will bring tourists, students from all over the country and can only do good for Bolton. Hey, you never know a Certain Chippy may offer discount vouchers at the reception - all for the good of the community of course ;)[/p][/quote]another out of touch bolton resident ....must be from Bulgaria mark foley
  • Score: -8

11:56am Thu 22 May 14

mark foley says...

newlind wrote:
Absolutely excellent idea. Bolton has such a plethora of Egyptian artefacts and they're rarely seen by members of the public. Whilst other councils are selling off their wares to raise funds, i actually think this is a decision that the council have made for the public good. It's shows such cultural diversity and an excellent learning resource for families with children who often have to pay transport costs to visit out -of-town museums.
how much did the one cost from , a shed in farnworth ????????? so they have more ;-(
[quote][p][bold]newlind[/bold] wrote: Absolutely excellent idea. Bolton has such a plethora of Egyptian artefacts and they're rarely seen by members of the public. Whilst other councils are selling off their wares to raise funds, i actually think this is a decision that the council have made for the public good. It's shows such cultural diversity and an excellent learning resource for families with children who often have to pay transport costs to visit out -of-town museums.[/p][/quote]how much did the one cost from , a shed in farnworth ????????? so they have more ;-( mark foley
  • Score: -6

12:52pm Thu 22 May 14

cliff4treasurer says...

So children won't have to travel out of town to learn about pyramids they will be able to do it here, great idea and a great way to spend the tax collected in the rates as there will be a lot of officer time wasted on this further white elephant or "spinx" in this case.
Fill the pot holes in as that's what you are supposed to be doing leave the educating to the schools.
So children won't have to travel out of town to learn about pyramids they will be able to do it here, great idea and a great way to spend the tax collected in the rates as there will be a lot of officer time wasted on this further white elephant or "spinx" in this case. Fill the pot holes in as that's what you are supposed to be doing leave the educating to the schools. cliff4treasurer
  • Score: -9

1:24pm Thu 22 May 14

Jim271 says...

Better having a Bulgarian, Hungarian, Polish exhibition.

Make them feel right at home.
Better having a Bulgarian, Hungarian, Polish exhibition. Make them feel right at home. Jim271
  • Score: -12

2:03pm Thu 22 May 14

Boltonresident2012 says...

mark foley wrote:
Boltonresident2012 wrote:
I think it sounds like a good idea which will bring tourists, students from all over the country and can only do good for Bolton.

Hey, you never know a Certain Chippy may offer discount vouchers at the reception - all for the good of the community of course ;)
another out of touch bolton resident ....must be from Bulgaria
Bolton has declined - I do not understand why anyone would want to put down a project which could bring some pride back to the place.

It would bring some money in as well. I cannot understand negativity on this one - except from people who do not want to see Bolton improve
[quote][p][bold]mark foley[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Boltonresident2012[/bold] wrote: I think it sounds like a good idea which will bring tourists, students from all over the country and can only do good for Bolton. Hey, you never know a Certain Chippy may offer discount vouchers at the reception - all for the good of the community of course ;)[/p][/quote]another out of touch bolton resident ....must be from Bulgaria[/p][/quote]Bolton has declined - I do not understand why anyone would want to put down a project which could bring some pride back to the place. It would bring some money in as well. I cannot understand negativity on this one - except from people who do not want to see Bolton improve Boltonresident2012
  • Score: 11

5:37pm Thu 22 May 14

JustBecause says...

It's ok building something like this, but the infrastructure for visitors isn't in place, more needs to be done in the immediate area of the museum.
It's ok building something like this, but the infrastructure for visitors isn't in place, more needs to be done in the immediate area of the museum. JustBecause
  • Score: 1

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree