Graylingwell: what stories to tell? Heritage Interpretation

When Graylingwell chapel is renovated, visitors will be able to access information, photos and objects so they can learn about the chapel and its history in the context of Graylingwell Hospital.  The volunteers and steering group involved in the Graylingwell Chapel renovation received their first training session in heritage interpretation this last week. Heritage interpretation is the way information will be communicated to visitors to the chapel and includes defining the stories that will be told and developing of a structure to tell these narratives.

The training was designed to help us ask some important questions…

What stories do we want to tell?

Who will the audience be?

How do we want to tell the stories?

How can we make it thought-provoking?

How much will it cost?

It was clear that there is so much fascinating information, images, stories and artefacts that it will be hard not to create a museum!  But we have limited space and so the big challenge is decide which narratives to focus on and how best to engage with visitors.

We also looked at good and bad examples of interpretation because we want to make our interpretation for Graylingwell Chapel as accessible as possible to different ages and abilities.

It is the job of the volunteers involved now to take this forward and to make important decisions on which stories to tell through the images and objects we have.   It is daunting but also extremely exciting as we look at images, stories, blueprints and objects, and work to create a distinctive experience that will attract and engage visitors.

This training was funded by the start-up grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.  Thank you!

If you would like to learn more about Graylingwell’s history, please keep an eye out for the amazing heritage talks that take place at Graylingwell, Chichester.  Next talk by Katherine Slay is on 23 November, 7-9pm at The Lodge – see the What’s On (Discover).