What, if anything, do visitors to heritage properties learn
What, if anything, do visitors to heritage properties learn

What, if anything, do visitors to heritage properties learn - PowerPoint Presentation

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What, if anything, do visitors to heritage properties learn - Description

Julie Charlesworth John Hackston The sample Visiting the properties Reasons for visiting Group differences Women are more likely to choose On holiday in the area Chosen by 35 of women but only 6 of men ID: 540639 Download Presentation

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Presentation on theme: "What, if anything, do visitors to heritage properties learn"— Presentation transcript


What, if anything, do visitors to heritage properties learn?

Julie Charlesworth

John HackstonSlide2

The sampleSlide3

Visiting the propertiesSlide4

Reasons for visitingSlide5

Group differences

Women are more likely to choose “On holiday in the area”

(Chosen by 35% of women but only 6% of men)

Men are more likely to choose “I have an interest in historic buildings/architecture”

(Chosen by 88% of men but only 58% of women)

Men are more likely to choose “I have an interest in history”

(Chosen by 81% of men but only 53% of women)

The 51 to 60 year old age group more likely than other groups to choose “I have an interest in history”

Visitors to museums or other attractions are more likely than visitors to houses and gardens or gardens to choose “I have an interest in history”

Visitors to houses and gardens are particularly likely to choose “I am a member of an organisation that allows me free or discounted entry” (73%).

(Significant differences based on a




Learning something newSlide7

If you learnt something new, how did you learn it?Slide8

Most important thing learnt (free response)


About the people who lived there

Facts about the building or garden

More detail about the story of the siteDo respondents sound surprised about what they learned?Slide9

Learning about people


I learnt about the life of the famous resident

The weird world of Hugh Walpole

What an amazing philanthropist Lord Nuffield was.

About Leighton as a person and an artist

A great example of a proto-feminist!Slide10

Learning about the building or garden

Development of the site as it passed through generations of owners

The more modern history of the house – it’s a Tudor building […]

What the character of a Baroque mansion was like

The changing layout of the formal gardens

The role of the house (as a bank) during WW2 and also what happened to the art collection during the warSlide11

The story of the site (with more detail)


the Court had changed appearance dramatically over its life. It was devastated by fire in the 1930s and then all remaining fittings were sold for salvage. Because the house was gutted some of the layout of the earlier incarnations became visible, including a Jacobean-style mansion

. The

amount spent on it in the mid-19th century was equivalent to approx

£100m in today's


[house & garden, visited 6 months ago or more]

That the Parliamentarians ordered the castle to be demolished, but the Great Hall was retained and used for a Court of Assizes, overseen by Judge


, the "bloody judge". And that Walter Raleigh was tried here. Also I didn't know that it was still being used as a courthouse up until the late 20th


[castle, visited within the past month]Slide12

Surprising learning?

We learnt that the


origins were much older than we thought predating the length of time the current family has lived there for 3 or 4 centuries

Surprisingly that a lot of paid Heritage sector staff are history or curating graduates working on zero-hours contracts for as little as 11hrs per week. Not what I expected to learn at all, but it came up in conversation with someone working there.

Not much to learn about at this site, more valuable for the views and impressive building

[but then respondent mentions 3 specific facts they learnt]Slide13

How learned it (free response)

Information sheets, panels, signs

Asking questions, listening to staff and volunteers

Formal talks and demonstrations, re-enactorsSlide14

Further methods of learning: visual

Visual methods [beyond looking at sheets of text]:

Observing, looking at exhibits, animations, walking around and looking

Seeing what plants thrive in this area

[also based on existing plant knowledge?]One room was dressed to reflect that period [1970s], with


walls, mattress on the floor, even clothes strewn around.

A little theatrical maybe but it was a really easily understood visual reminder of that part of the building's


Comparing and contrasting with other learning experiences

I felt seeing this major house was useful as a compare and contrast exercise with Castle Howard which is of the same period but conceived as a palace rather than a house.

I gleaned more of an insight into what life must have been like for a medieval monk and that what it meant to be a monk changed over the centuries. I learnt this through reading material at the visitor centre and synthesising this with what I already knew and especially with what I'd learnt about the same order at


Abbey the day



was reminded of scenes within favourite dramas and enjoyed being in that atmosphere, as well as learning of other productions being filmed there. I enjoyed viewing the varied architectural styles (predominantly Tudor) and talking to my son about the Tithe barn there (the oldest example in UK


Questions about sense of place


historic properties and gardens are said to have a strong 'sense of place', a unique combination of atmosphere, history, location, architecture, design and other characteristics which make it significant for many people. To what extent did you experience this


of place?Did you learn anything about this property’s sense of place?How would you describe this property’s sense of place? (free response)Slide17

Sense of placeSlide18

Learning something new withsense of place

People for whom it was important to learn something new believed that they had learnt something new in their visit

They also were more likely to believe that they had learnt something about the property’s sense of place

They were also more likely to choose “To learn something new” as a reason for visiting, and to say “yes” to many of the options of “If you learnt something new, how did you learn it”

People who chose “Soaking up the atmosphere” as a way of learning something new were more likely to say that they had experienced the property’s sense of place more fullySlide19

Describing sense of place at this property

Fewer people answered this question than the one on learning.

Some respondents just repeated some basic facts about what they had learnt, or whether they liked itSlide20

Themes on sense of place


Glimpse into the past

Comparing and contrastingHow the property was presentedSlide21


High above the surrounding countryside, the house stands rather imperiously, with shining windows and pale stone


It has a strong sense of place geographically, historically and philosophically. This involves an exclusivity in terms of access - at different times it was restricted to apothecaries and therefore men and was only opened to the public in the 1980s.

Its location in London, as an oasis of calm and peace, surrounded by bustle is a definite part of its



Feeling of desertion and abandonment

Very old, of lives lived, picturesque […]

It is a magnificent place. You could almost feel the history in the worn floors, architecture and monuments. All visitors spoke in hushed tones out of respect.Slide22

Glimpse into the past, integrated


building was unique and reflected the architect and owner's passions and interest but the sense of place was limited by the loss of the landscape park and original setting by the


Very integrated into the landscape, with sweeping drive, naturalised flowers etcUnique glimpse into what life was like, opportunity to feel that you are living history for a day


There was a strong sense of place at


Alley which made it possible to imagine what life may have been like back in the 19th century


Beautiful gardens, relaxing atmosphere, was a family home and you could imagine the family living there.Slide23

Compare with films, books, other places

It was quite redolent of atmosphere - made me think of the coloured rooms in the


of the

Red Death’ film.[…] it is rather like walking through a visually intense, other-worldly space. It feels like taking a break from normal life and entering into a differ dimension. I suppose it's a bit like the


in Wonderland' film (I'm not sure which one, as I've only seen bits of it) - intensely coloured and slightly surreal.


walk along the river is very tranquil, the mill has a sense of history and some fond associations with 'Windy Miller' from the television of my childhood.


house is quite grand and again, feels a bit like a film set, particularly the stone stairs. I always


wandering through it.

A place of peace and yet there was sadness here also...things did not end well for this community. I couldn't help but compare the abbey with the castles I'd seen on the previous day. This place wasn't built to be defended and yet in some ways it was just as much a projection of wealth and power as the castles were


The influence on sense of place of how the property was presented



interior design of the house, combined with the displays of Leighton's art and the minimal information displayed helped to form an excellent sense of place. It added to the feeling that Leighton was a very enigmatic man. All the public spaces were richly and flamboyantly decorated, it was just his own bedroom that was humble and understated - this seemed rather poignant

.Its owners/managers have respected the lie of the land and the soil etc

to choose plants that flourish and enhance the natural


The NT have done a really good job of bringing out both the sense of history in the house and


role in modern day Hackney. So there was a real sense of age and significance, but with a kind of punk edge. Bizarre but exactly right for the house and the area



Traditional methods of providing information to visitors are

still used

Some people enjoy comparing and contrasting their different experiences

Learning is one part of the whole experiencePeople understand what is meant by sense of place