Chichester's award-winning museum, which has been closed since March in response to the coronavirus pandemic, will be opening its doors again with the revised opening hours of Tuesday to Saturday, 11am-4pm.

A number of social distancing and safety measures have been introduced to keep visitors and staff safe while in the museum. These include: 

  • Free, pre-booked visitor slots to manage numbers in the museum galleries;
  • One-way circulation through the museum, with clear floor signage;
  • The availability of hand sanitiser at the entrance and throughout the museum; and,
  • Regular deep cleaning of the building.

The museum has also announced that the current headline exhibition, Mystery Warrior: The North Bersted Man, which was due to end on 26 September 2020, has been extended and will run until 17 April 2021.

Arguably the most elaborately equipped warrior grave ever found in England, archaeologists believe the Mystery Warrior was a refugee French Gallic fighter who fled Julius Caesar's Roman army as it swept across continental Europe around 50BC. The museum has received fantastic reviews from visitors who were able to view the exhibition prior to lockdown.

"We are really excited to welcome visitors back to The Novium Museum," says Councillor Roy Briscoe, Cabinet Member for Community Services and Culture at Chichester District Council. "The team have been working really hard to ensure that our visitor experience is a safe and enjoyable one, and we are delighted to be able to extend the run of our Mystery Warrior exhibition to enable as many people as possible to visit.

"Cultural venues play a vital part in a thriving city or town centre, and can be tremendously beneficial to our wellbeing during these challenging times. The team have done a brilliant job connecting us virtually with our heritage over the last few months, but it will be great to be able to visit the museum in person once again."

While the guidelines mean that the museum's galleries cannot be as interactive as usual for the time being, activity sheets have been created for children and activity backpacks will also be available to hire.

Online booking to visit The Novium Museum is open now via the Novium reopening . Admission is free of charge, with donations gratefully accepted.

A limited allocation of tickets will be available on the door to allow for Chichester Tourist Information Centre drop-in enquiries. The Tourist Information Centre will operate with a slightly amended service, and visitors are advised that Box Office and National Express bookings can only be made online or by phone: 01243 775888.

For more information about the museum's reopening, including how to book, visit  the museum's website.  or email thenovium@chichester.gov.uk

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Date: 8 July 2020

 

Frequently Asked Questions

 

Q. When will you be open?

A. The Novium Museum will open from Tuesday 28 July. Revised public opening hours will be Tuesday-Saturday, 11am - 4pm.


Q. How do people book?

A. Visitors can book online through the museum's website . Tickets will be free of charge, with donations gratefully accepted.


Q. Is a ticket for a specific date and time?

A. Yes, pre-booked tickets can only be used for the allocated date and time. This is to ensure social distancing restrictions are met. The length of the visit will not be restricted, however it is anticipated that most visits will last between 60 to 90 minutes.  


Q. Is there wheelchair access?

A. The museum remains fully accessible. Visitors are encouraged to follow the one way circulation throughout the museum, but the lift will remain accessible both ways for those who need it. Accessible toilets are open on our ground and second floor.

Q. Will the toilets be open?

A. Museum toilets remain open on the ground and second floors, including accessible facilities. Baby change facilities are available on the ground floor. The toilet on the first floor will be closed to the public.

 

Q. What time is last entry to the museum?

A. Last admission will be 3.15pm, with a reduced visiting time of 45 minutes to allow for the museum to close at 4pm.

 

Q. Is the shop or the café open?

A. The museum shop is open, with payment to be made by card or contactless device only. The museum café remains closed.

 

Q. Is the Tourist Information Centre open?

A. Yes, the TIC will reopen on Tuesday 28 July with amended services, and a limited allocation of tickets will be available on the door to allow for drop-in enquiries for this service. Please note that Box Office and National Express bookings can only be taken online or by phone: 01243 775888 (select option 1). For further information, please email chitic@chichester.gov.uk

 

Q.What will be available for children to do?

A. While the museum galleries cannot be as interactive as usual, pencils and activity sheets will be available for children to complete during their visit. This will include the popular Mystery Warrior trail. Activity backpacks will be available to hire. The museum also hopes to offer some activities within the galleries over the summer months — more details will be published on the museum website and through its social media channels.

 

Q.Why does the museum require visitor contact details?

A. In order to support the NHS Test and Trace programme, the museum is taking contact details (name and telephone number) for all visitors, as well as recording times entering and leaving the building.

 

In line with guidance issued by the Department for Health and Social Care, details will be kept securely in compliance with GDPR legislation for 21 days before being securely disposed of. Visitor details will only be shared with NHS Test and Trace if asked and in the event that it is needed to help stop the spread of coronavirus. Visitor details will not be used for any other purposes or passed on to anyone else.

 

Q. Question not answered?

A. The team can be contacted by emailing thenovium@chichester.gov.uk and questions answered as soon as possible.