In 2000, the interests of various groups in Bishop's Castle converged when the opportunity arose to acquire an early 19th century Chapel (until recently, the town's former library) for use as a heritage resource centre. In September 2003, the lead partner in this collaboration, the House on Crutches Museum Trust, was awarded a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund with support funding from Shropshire County Council to purchase the building. Conversion work began soon afterwards.
By the autumn of 2004, the work was completed and the centre was officially opened on 31st October. Its architect-designed interior now provides the community with secure museum-standard storage, a multi purpose activity space, a growing database for research and online access and education services.
From December 2006, the centre, which is run by volunteers, became largely self-funding, partly through small to medium project grants, donations and charges for the use of its facilities and services.
The opening of BCHRC as a Local History Centre in 2010, as a result of a further HLF grant, marks another step towards fulfilling the original vision of helping people to learn about and enjoy the heritage of this very special area.