Museums Worcestershire staff are celebrating today as The Commandery has been awarded the accolade of Best Visitor Attraction in the Visit Worcestershire Awards for Excellence 2018
Museums Worcestershire staff are celebrating today as The Commandery, one of Worcester’s most historic buildings, has been awarded the accolade of Best Visitor Attraction in the Visit Worcestershire Awards for Excellence 2018, presented yesterday at the Bank House Hotel, Worcester.
Last summer The Commandery launched a brand new interactive experience, Worcester’s Civil War Story, bringing to life one of the most significant periods of the city’s history.
Worcester played a defining role in the Civil War. The City witnessed the opening and closing battles, from the initial skirmish at Powick in 1642 to the final clash between Royalists and Parliamentarians in the Battle of Worcester in 1651, during which The Commandery was the Royalist battle headquarters.
The Commandery’s new interactive experience transports visitors back over 350 years into a murky, conflicted 17th century Worcester of fiery debates, the smell of gunpowder and dank city streets. Visitors can master tactical techniques with the battlefield strategy interactive, try on a soldier’s uniform and uncover the stories of families torn apart by war.
Since relaunching in 2017 The Commandery now attracts visitors from far and wide including East Midlands, London and the South East, to discover more about Worcester’s Civil War Story, and to enjoy the city’s rich heritage.
As well as the introduction of new displays, vital works were carried out to improve the visitor experience including repairs to the roof, upgrades to the building’s heating, and redecoration, plus the creation of a new wedding suite.
Worcester City Council underpinned its significant Civil War history by investing £380,000 into The Commandery, in addition to £96,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and further funding from Worcestershire County Council, Arts Council England, the Friends of Worcester Museums and Art Gallery and Worcestershire Ambassadors.
Chair of the Joint Museums Committee, Councillor Lucy Hodgson says: “This award is both a reflection of the quality of the visitor experience at The Commandery and recognition of the important part The Commandery plays in Worcester’s heritage offer.
The investment by both City and County Councils along with the Heritage Lottery Fund has allowed it to develop and blossom into the award-winning attraction it is today.”
Head of Museums Worcestershire, Philippa Tinsley says: “We are so pleased to have won this award; it is a true reflection of the commitment of our team to providing an excellent visitor experience. We are grateful to all those who supported us through the development, to Visit Worcestershire for giving us this fabulous award and to our many visitors who keep on visiting and enjoying the new displays.”