Whitehall Museum, Cheam

  • Public And Arts
  • London Borough of Sutton
  • £1.1m
  • 2018

The Whitehall Museum is over 500 years old, but it’s not just its age that marks it as a building of unique architectural interest, rather a surprising and long-held tradition.

Built in the early 1500’s, the original Tudor structure has been extended every 100 years. With extensions dating from the time of the Stuarts and the Victorians, this characterful building is a hybrid of different periods. Its popularity with tourists, architects and historians alike is owed to the wonderful insight into the building techniques and styles of each time, all under one roof. Its characteristic porch was added alongside an attic extension in the 1600’s, while a three-storey extension with a cellar was made to the rear of the house in the following century, and in the 1800’s a kitchen and bathroom wing were added. Small extensions were made in the late 70’s, which have recently been replaced by Curl la Tourelle Head Architecture, marking the most recent changes in a 500-year history of growth.

Thanks to a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, Whitehall has been given a new lease of life with sensitive renovation, improvements in energy efficiency, and two extensions. Charred timber cladding reference the character of the building, while elements of glass provide a brighter, more modern context. The real mark of the 21st century though, is the improved accessibility and green building techniques, a reflection of our changing times.

The Whitehall Museum completed in January, with exhibition design by Philip Simpson due to begin in early April. Expected re-opening in June.