South Western Federation of Museums and Art Galleries

Know Your Place project celebrates win at Historic England Angel Awards 2018

Historic England Angel Awards 2018 has announced Pete Insole as winner in the 'Best Heritage Research, Interpretation or Recording' category for his work on the Know Your Place Project. The award recognises those who have helped people understand and enjoy a heritage based project.

Know Your Place West of England ran from June 2015 to July 2017 to expand knowledge from Bristol to the six surrounding counties of Bath & Northeast Somerset, Gloucestershire, North Somerset, Somerset, South Gloucestershire and Wiltshire, with partners in each county committed to gathering and sharing more information on their area.

The interactive digital mapping resource lets members of the public not only explore their heritage but also contribute to it, building new layers of history in counties across South West England. Through engaging members of the public in the research and recording of local heritage, Know Your Place is uncovering and sharing history that would otherwise remain hidden.

Pete Insole, Bristol City Council, Principal Historic Environment Officer said: “ Within the first few weeks, we received a brilliant photograph of two 18th century lime kilns that had not known existed. The kilns were behind a private wall and the owner of the land had sent in the photograph. No other record existed of the kilns, which were near a lime quarry.That got us excited about the potential of the project.... We are giving the public an active role in managing our heritage, adding more layers to what we already know.”

The Bristol page now includes more than 2,000 community contributions, which have been added to the city’s historic records and are now taken into account for political and planning decisions. The city’s local list of 500 buildings has been formed predominantly by buildings on the Know Your Place site, which were highlighted by members of the public.

The project also encourages communities to contribute to maps and archives on more specific histories. For example, for a Know Your Place spin-off, a digital map allows users to explores sites, hear stories and read about places and events significant to the LGBT+ community.

One of the project’s initial aims was to digitise and geo-reference historical maps and the site gives visitors unprecedented access to maps, collections and a wide range of historic data. One hundred volunteers have so far been trained to keep the site updated. For further information on the Know Your Place project and to explore the map, click here.

There was further good news for the South West as Reuben Marsh was shortlisted as a finalist for Best Craftsperson or Apprentice on a Heritage Rescue or Repair Project. Reuben had been recognised for his restoration of the WWI Memorial East Window at St Pol de Léon Church in Cornwall. Restoring the frame involved removing all the old worn stone and keeping track of its position so it could be replaced by new stone, cut to exactly the same specifications. The window contains five main lights with eight smaller windows and seven others that are smaller still and follow the contour of the arch.