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The Prestigious UK Heritage Awards 2020



Relive the Awards Ceremony Below

Table of Contents - Categories

Best Family Day Out

Birdoswald Roman Fort

In 2018, English Heritage opened their flagship family friendly site at Birdoswald Roman Fort. Aimed particularly at families and created using the Kids in Museums principles.

The museum space is beautifully illustrated using characters to represent those that lived, worshipped and worked at the wall. It houses a variety of interactives, such as a lego table to build parts of the wall, a crane to replicate the building of a Roman archway, a digital quiz to decide which wall dweller you are and a periscope, among others.

The judges said: Birdoswald Roman Fort is very hands on and interactive, fantastic for children. It is accessible, and allows people of all ages to engage together. There  is a large variety of activities to take part in. The attraction is educational and tells the story of the history of the fort. Activities take place Indoors and outdoors and outdoors and engage children and adults of all ages.

Great Place to Eat

Levens Kitchen

Levens Kitchen opened in March 2019 and is a purpose-built café and dining space. The building was designed to complement its surroundings, therefore using locally sourced limestone, sandstone, oak and Cumbrian slate, in order to create a modern building within the historic surroundings of Levens Hall. Of the 43 contractors used on the project, only four were based outside Cumbria. The judges said: Levens Kitchen is a new build and has been made from sustainable materials. Very impressed with the sensitivity towards ensuring that the building fits into its historic surrounding and with the use of local craftsmen and materials. Customer reviews are consistently good, and menus are of high quality.

COMMENDED

Askham Hall

A multi award winning Lake District hideaway, Askham Hall is a 13th-century rare Grade 1 listed Pele Tower house turned restaurant with rooms, founded on food and drink. ‘Allium at Askham Hall’ by Richard Swale recently achieved its first Michelin star. Last year we received the Hudson’s special commendation in this category.

The judges said: A prized enterprise in historic buildings, excellent reviews. Top quality menus using local produce. The judges felt that Askham should receive recognition for the award of its first Michelin star – an impressive achievement

Wonderful Place to Stay

Broughton Hall

One of the only exclusive use Historic Houses in the UK, the recently refurbished Hall provides a wonderfully luxurious space for private house party stays. The magnificent state rooms lend themselves to formal gatherings as well as being homely places to relax and enjoy a rich history of human endeavour. The judges said: Broughton feels very focused on being an exclusive place to stay. Its strength is offering high quality accommodation and letting guests really feel they have taken over. The owner, Roger Tempest, moves out of the house and the guests move in – this really is the real country house experience. Offers plenty of add-on services such as spa experiences and outdoor pursuits.

COMMENDED

Larchfield Estate

Rose Cottage was renovated in 2012, and over the last 7 years we’ve expanded our accommodation, offering space for 26, with a new cottage for 11 launching early 2020. The 1800’s stone cottages have been updated with stunning interior design protecting original features, plus mod-cons required for a comfortable and memorable escape. We have a 1950’s Swiss army truck converted to luxury glamping truck – with underfloor heating and even sauna!

The judges said: A unique, different experience, combining new and old. The cottages offer comfortable, quality accommodation. The Swiss army truck glamping experience offers visitors the chance to get away from it all in style whilst living inside a little piece of history.

Most Improved Heritage Development

Winchester Cathedral

Kings and Scribes: The Birth of a Nation is a spectacular new exhibition at Winchester Cathedral which has transformed our understanding of the English nation. Thanks to a grant of £11 million from The National Lottery Heritage Fund, a stunning and fully accessible three-level exhibition space has been created in the Cathedral’s South Transept to enable visitors to enjoy and appreciate Winchester Cathedral’s remarkable heritage. The judges said: This has been a long-term project which now allows visitors to explore over 1000 years of English history. This inspiring and educational experience offers visitors the opportunity to learn all about the significance of this historic building within the wider story of English history.

Hidden Gem

Accessing Aidan Project

In 2016, a group of local volunteers and the AONB found themselves in the incredibly unusual situation of creating a new early medieval Ossuary in the crypt of St Aidan’s Church, Bamburgh. The Ossuary houses the remains of 110 Anglo-Saxons ancestors excavated (1999-2007) from the sand dunes close to Bamburgh Castle, each skeleton is in individual charnel boxes and secure behind a bespoke grille in the second smaller crypt. This remarkable community dates from 650AD and are very probably some of St Aidan’s first christian converts. The judges said: The project does much in the way of furthering science and education. The judges were impressed with the project being volunteer led. A very interesting, varied and accessible project with digital elements as well as archaeology.

Best Wedding Venue

JOINT WINNER

Victoria Baths

Victoria Baths houses five unique spaces for ceremonies that include the option to get married ‘in the deep end’ of one of the empty pools or against the superb stained glass backdrop of the Turkish Rest Room. Each couple has exclusive use of the entire building during their ceremony and reception and have the day before to set up and the day afterwards to take everything down. The judges said: These venues offer the highest quality whilst serving different needs Victoria Baths is quirky and different, you are free to do what you want with the space including hiring your own catering and entertainment. Re-using the space saved the baths – which would otherwise have been demolished.

JOINT WINNER

Goodwood

Home to the Dukes of Richmond for over three hundred years, the magnificence of Goodwood House provides an unforgettable wedding venue and an authentic heritage in hospitality. Opportunities to tailor your wedding to your taste are plentiful. Your dedicated wedding planner is consistently on hand to help create your bespoke wedding and bride, Frankie, felt ‘always so well looked after, right from the first visit to discuss our wedding plans.’ The judges said: Goodwood offers a first-class luxury bespoke experience where you can sit back and be looked after in a superb heritage setting. Excellent customer reviews and a stunning backdrop for photos.

Outstanding Customer Service

Goodwood

Across everything we do at The Goodwood Estate we strive to reflect our values:

  • ‘Obsession For Perfection’ focuses on delivering quality, 100% right.

  • ‘The Real Thing’ ensures experiences are authentic – being pure, unspoiled, unadulterated
    pleasure.

  • ‘Derring-Do’ inspires to create the best possible experiences, with a wow factor.

  • ‘Sheer Love Of Life’ shares employees’ infectious enthusiasm who want to get and see others get the most out of their life.

 

The judges said: Goodwood are industry leaders in their field with a great business model. Their bespoke service caters for many different audiences and attracts many returning visitors. They put expert focus on each separate area of the business. The Festival of Speed and Vintage Days attract visitors from all over the world.

Best Event, Festival or Exhibition

Eltham Palace

‘Our House’ an immersive performance exploring LGBTQ+ heritage and history of Eltham Palace. ‘Our House’ was a new piece of devised site-specific promenade theatre created, managed and produced by 30 young people aged 12 to 25. More than 550 people attended performances which took place at Eltham Palace on 20, 21 & 22 September 2019. The judges said: The show promotes diversity and youth and is an engaging theatre show within a historic site. The performance is tasteful, sensitive, charming and very touching. Really well put together and produced.

Contribution to Heritage

English Heritage - 'Speaking with Shadows' Podcast

The podcast that listens to the people that history forgot. We focus on underrepresented stories, particularly those overlooked because of race, gender, class, sexuality or political beliefs. Each episode uses an English Heritage site as a starting point to explore bigger topics. We chose broadcaster Josie Long as our presenter as we wanted someone who would be completely new to the stories, rather than an expert with existing knowledge. The judges said: The podcast really unpacks the stories behind the site in interesting ways, much like an intelligent radio broadcast. A contemporary and innovative use of history.

Best Corporate Event

Thirlestane Castle

Thirlestane Castle is a 16th Century exclusive use venue just 27 miles from Edinburgh offering a range of spaces for corporate events from board weekends of 12 to incentives for 1500. Spaces include the dramatic State Rooms, and the wonderfully rustic Victorian Kitchen and Vauled Cellar. There are sight luxury en-suite bedrooms all with a workspace and free wifi. There is over 100 acres of parkland ideal for team building including highland games, country sports or off-roading. The judges said: Very impressive, some great new ideas have been successfully implemented to prioritise the corporate package.

Must Visit

Bletchley Park

It was the epicentre of World War Two codebreaking and the British wartime intelligence hub – a place where modern technological innovation and human endeavour made ground-breaking achievements that have helped shape the world we live in today.
The Rt Hon William Hague MP (when former foreign secretary) said that, 

“Bletchley Park was the scene of one of the finest achievements in our nation’s history.”

The judges said: A perfectly pitched entry for this category, particularly in the year that we celebrate the 75th anniversary of Day. A unique exhibition and restoration. Fantastic customer reviews. A valuable piece of our history that really is a must-see.

Best of Heritage

Judges Discretionary Award

Bletchley Park

Bletchley Park is a place of exceptional historical importance. It remains highly relevant to our lives today and for the future. It is the home of British codebreaking and a birthplace of modern information technology. It played a major role in World War Two, producing secret intelligence which had a direct and profound influence on the outcome of the conflict.

Over the past twenty years Bletchley Park has become an internationally renowned heritage attraction, visited by people from around the world, which acknowledges the successes from the War and the people responsible for them. 

It celebrates their values: 

  • broad-minded patriotism; 
  • commitment; 
  • discipline; 
  • technological excellence. 

By presenting and explaining these achievements and these values, in the very place where they occurred, Bletchley Park brings together the dramatic history of the twentieth century with the challenges we face in the twenty first in our rapidly changing and technologically complex society.

The judges said:

Bletchley Park scored highly in every category entered. It is evident that a great deal of thought has gone into collating supporting materials that are interesting, engaging and relevant to the criteria, offering the judges a detailed insight into everything the attraction has to offer. Visitors to Bletchley Park are given the opportunity to gain an insight into a unique part of British history with an experience that is educational, entertaining and enjoyable for all ages. Special recognition is deserved for Bletchley’s continued efforts in restoring and preserving this unique site for future generations to appreciate. Visitor reviews are excellent with many commenting that they left Bletchley Park totally in awe of and full of admiration for the codebreakers and their important contribution during WWII.