A NEW museum in Amesbury will be opening its doors this weekend with an exhibition about the town during the Mesolithic era.

Amesbury, 3,000 years before Stonehenge will be the first exhibition to be held at the town council’s museum at the Melor Hall, which it bought for the purpose last month.

Town mayor Andy Rhind-Tutt, who has launched a project to pull the community together under the banner of Amesbury 2012, said: “I am delighted that we have been able to complete on the purchase of the Melor Hall and put on this first exhibition for Amesbury.

“There is no doubt that as construction works start on the new Stonehenge Visitor Centre we too need to start work on Amesbury, turning it into a stopping point for some of the many thousands of visitors and providing them with some of our heritage to see and somewhere to eat, drink and buy gifts.”

The council bought the former town hall for £285,000 from the neighbouring St Mary and St Melor Church, which put it up for sale when a new hall opened last year.

It is hoped that a purpose built visitor centre can eventually be constructed on the site funded by developer Bloor Homes, if it gets permission to build its new Kings Gate development near Archer’s Gate.

“The planned Melor Hall exhibitions and the new museum when it is built will be the perfect catalyst for the town’s regeneration,” said cllr Rhind-Tutt, “and I wish to thank all those people who have got behind the project, including many volunteers, to help us make it happen and put Amesbury on the map.”

Over the Easter weekend there will be presentations at the hall each day, with visiting archaeologists including Professor Tim Darvill from Bournemouth University and Julian Richards of the BBC’s Meet the Ancestor.

And on Saturday afternoon the town’s Historic Mosaic, which is in the process of being created by artist Joanna Dewfall and schoolchildren, will be on show in St Mary and St Melor Church.

The exhibition will be open from Easter Friday to Monday from noon to 4pm.

There is no charge for entry and everyone is welcome.