We are planning to re-open part of the museum on Monday 17th August. Much of the museum will remain closed for now, but we will have a wonderful new exhibition, "Godalming's Secret Cemetery", based on the 9th – 12th century (Saxon – Norman) cemetery excavated in Godalming in 2014 and on subsequent research at the University of Roehampton. Find out what this unique archaeological site has to tell us about Godalming’s first inhabitants and their world. We look forward to welcoming you.
In order to meet government guidelines on coronavirus, the number of visitors will be strictly limited and all visits must be booked in advance. The booking line for all visits opens on 3rd August. Visits from 17th August to 4th September are reserved for the museum’s volunteers and patrons and members of the Friends of Godalming Museum. Visits from 7th September are available for all. Please read the information below before telephoning to book, so that you know what to expect.
At the outset, only the downstairs exhibition gallery will be open, with "Godalming's Secret Cemetery". We will also have a limited range of items for sale in the museum shop. We are not able to open the café at this stage and the whole of the upper floor (including the galleries, the local studies library and the toilet) will be closed. Access to the garden will be restricted. We hope to expand the area open to the public before too long.
During this exhibition, we will be open on Mondays and Fridays only, between 10.30am and 4.30pm. We feel sure that an hour will be sufficient to view the exhibition and visit the shop and our bookings will reflect this. We may amend the opening hours to reflect demand.
There will be a maximum of two staff members and four visitors in the museum at any one time. However, if your household (or social bubble) is made up of more than four people, let us know when you are booking and you should be able to visit together, if social distancing is not required.
Godalming Museum prides itself on being a child friendly place. Normally we have many interactive areas designed for our younger visitors, but we cannot allow access to these at present. We do not want to disappoint anyone, so feel we should point out that this exhibition is really only suitable for adults and older children (aged 12 and over). If you wish to bring young children with you, please mention this when you book. They will need to remain under your direct supervision at all times in order to maintain social distancing. Our space is very limited so pushchairs may have to be left outside.
- Restricted number of visitors and staff
- Pre-booked entry times
- Pre-planned route around the gallery and shop, maintaining social distancing
- Cleaning of public areas before opening each day
- Additional cleaning of touch points between visitors as needed
- Staff will wear visors and/or face coverings and, where necessary, gloves
- All goods for sale in the shop packaged at least 72 hours before sale
- All seating removed, although a chair will be available for emergency use
- Staff present to give guidance and ensure all visitors comply with rules on social distancing
All visitors are asked
- to turn up promptly for your booked slot and let us know by telephone if you cannot make it
- not to bring extra visitors with you as we will not be able to let them in
- to wear your own face covering at all times when inside the museum (unless you are exempt under government guidelines)
- to use the hand sanitiser provided at the entrance to the museum
- to follow directions on social distancing, as displayed in the museum and explained by our staff
- to provide your name and contact telephone number at the time of booking and give permission for us to retain these details for 21 days after the visit, and to share them with NHS Test and Trace if asked to do so. All information will be kept securely and deleted after 21 days. We will only share the information for the purpose stated or if we deem it necessary and legal to do so
- to inform us when booking if you or anyone in your group has any mobility issues
- to take account of the fact that you may have to spend a short time in the garden and that the back door is likely to be open at all times to aid ventilation
We reserve the right to refuse entry if visitors do not comply with these requirements
As usual, entrance to Godalming Museum is free during this exhibition and we are pleased that it can remain so. We have only limited space at present and it seems right to use it to make information on this interesting and important local site available to the public.
Producing this exhibition has been costly and in common with many organisations, our income has declined significantly during the pandemic. We hope that you will enjoy the exhibition and welcome any donations you may wish to make. When you visit it will be possible to make donations by cash or cheque via a collection box. You can also make a contactless donation if you speak to the staff member at the desk. As all profits from our shop go to support the museum, purchasing from the shop during your visit is another way you can help.
We are very grateful to our Friends of the Museum, who pay an annual subscription in support of the museum. In return, we keep them informed of all museum news and events, including lectures, outings and fundraisers. Please ask during your visit if you would like a leaflet giving you more information about the Friends.
The front door to the museum will not be open, except by arrangement.
Please come into the museum garden via the back gate (from South Street Car Park) at your allotted time. Please do not turn up early as the gate is likely to be closed. We ask that you observe the 2 metre rule if you find yourselves waiting for us to open the gate.
If you or anyone in your party will have difficulty with the few steps in the museum garden, please mention this when booking and we will make alternative arrangements.
- Public toilets are available a few minutes’ walk away in Crown Court
- The High Street is currently subject to a temporary pedestrianisation order. Please check the position before you visit as access to the High Street is severely restricted, including for blue badge holders
- The nearest car park is South Street (behind the museum)
- Car parking charges apply and have increased since the museum was last open
- Seating has been removed and will only be available in an emergency
Bookings should be made by phone and will open on Monday 3rd August. The initial period from 17th August will be reserved for volunteers and Friends as mentioned above, but from the outset bookings can be made by anyone for Mondays and Fridays beginning 7th September and ending 16th October. It is possible that we will amend our opening days and times in response to demand.
To book please ring Godalming Museum between 10am and 1pm Monday to Friday from 3rd August (not Bank Holiday). The number is 01483 426510. If need be, leave a message and we will call you back.
Please note: An inherent risk of exposure to COVID-19 exists in any public place where people are present. We believe that we are taking all reasonable steps to ensure your safety, but by visiting the museum you voluntarily assume all risks related to exposure to COVID-19.