Museum proposal for Bury register office

MCHG 12-966   The Bury, Hemel Hempstead.
MCHG 12-966 The Bury, Hemel Hempstead.

A picturesque register office that is home to one of the county’s most popular ceremony rooms could be moved from its historic setting to make way for a museum.

Dacorum Borough Council is considering relocating the wedding service at The Bury in Queensway under ambitious town centre redevelopment plans.

As part of the move a proposal for the Dacorum Heritage Trust to set up a museum inside the 17th century landmark is being explored.

Councillor Terry Douris, who oversees planning and regeneration at the borough council, said: “These discussions are in the very early stages and no decision has yet been made.”

The Bury’s Garden Room is one of the county’s most popular ceremony settings with its blue and gold furnishings and French doors leading into the gardens.

So far during this financial year there have been 173 weddings there, eight civil partnerships, two civil naming ceremonies and two renewal of vows.

Under regeneration plans the council proposes to create a new ‘public service quarter’ building in the town centre from which a range of services including a registration office could be run.

The town transformation will also see the redevelopment of West Herts College and the Civic Centre in Marlowes to create a new college and a Morrisons food store.

Herts County Council which runs the registration service and spokesman Simon Hoggett, said: “There are no plans to dispense with a registration office in Hemel Hempstead.

“It is likely that the service will move, but this is unlikely to take place for three or four years.”

Trustees of the Dacorum Heritage Trust, which is based in Berkhamsted, have long dreamed of setting up a borough museum.

At the moment its collection of more than 100,000 objects can only be viewed by appointment.

Trust chairman Roger Hands said: “We are hopeful that the long term ambition for a Dacorum museum is a lot more further forward than it has been for many years.”