main and original part of the museum is
a Grade II listed building.
An extension was added
in 1959 and dedicated to the memory of
Dennis Collings. A further small extension
was built in 1962 and, in 1967, the Society
purchased a two-storey carpenter's workshop,
which had been built in the 1950s at the
bottom of the back yard. This was needed
to provide basic storage space for objects
which there was no room to display permanently
and to house the museum's growing archive
of books, photographs and postcards. It
also made possible the construction of
a museum office.
In 1999 the
museum underwent a programme of essential
refurbishment and was equipped with a
new lighting system and carpeting. However
this was only a very partial response
to what was becoming an increasingly pressing
need - to bring the museum up to today's
conservation and equal-access standards
and to present the story of Southwold
in a more coherent, accessible and attractive
Between 2006 and 2008 Southwold Museum closed for a £375,000 rebuild
and redesign programme supported by the Heritage
Lottery Fund with local match funding.
In 2009 the museum was highly
commended in the Museums and Heritage
Awards for Excellence. The judges
commented that this was a "small
museum that just gets it absolutely right".
A further major programme of refurbishment was undertaken during 2014-15, with the installation of low-energy lighting and climate-control systems. Several new displays have been added and there is a greater emphasis on exhibiting objects, hundreds of which have languished in storage for decades.