AVONCROFT Museum is closing for at least six weeks and cancelling its medieval St George's Day event due to the growing coronavirus pandemic.

The Stoke Heath museum announced today (Friday) that it would be shutting its doors to the public until Thursday, April 30 at the earliest.

Avoncroft had already cancelled the activities it had planned for Easter but now the celebrations to mark St George's Day on the weekend of April 18-19 have also been aborted.

The event would have featured a historic reenactment of the Wars of the Roses, an archery competition, dressing up as a knight, storytelling and medieval drills among other activities.

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A statement from Nick Sturgess, acting deputy director of the museum - which lost almost £50,000 in the last financial year - admitted that the decision to close had been taken with a heavy heart.

He said: "Owing to the ongoing Covid-19 Coronavirus pandemic and our absolute desire to keep the public, our staff and our volunteers safe, we have sadly had to take the difficult decision to temporarily close Avoncroft Museum to visitors from today (Friday, March 20) until at least Thursday, April 30, 2020.

"Our top priority has, and always will be, the safety of those who visit, work and volunteer at the Museum.

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"We will use this period to introduce and develop new events and even more reasons for you to visit Avoncroft once we re-open.

"As an independent museum and charity this has not been an easy decision and everyone at the Museum thanks you for your continued support and understanding during these difficult times. It means a lot to us.

"We will be keeping in touch with you through our social media pages and here on our website and we look forward to welcoming you back to the Museum later in 2020."