In the middle of the thriving metropolis of London, is a hidden treasure. Headstone Manor in Harrow started life as a rural farm in the late medieval period. Over the years, London developed around Headstone so that today it is only 20 miles from the capital’s centre. As London grew, so did Headstone. Indeed, its Manor House, surrounded by a moat, shows the passing of time with Tudor, Georgian and Victorian styling.
Within the last few decades Headstone became a museum of local history but it had a homemade feel to it. While there were many objects within its treasure box, there was no storytelling of the history to bring it to life for visitors. The Manor House itself was also in need of restoration.
Working with Headstone Manor’s Heritage and Museum Manager we developed an interpretation plan and concept designs to inform a bid to the HLF, which helped the client secure £3.6m for the project delivery. A series of community consultations ensued enabling us to develop themes, storylines and designs to take museum visitors on a journey through Headstone’s long history.
Each room at Headstone has been reimagined with themes relating to the different periods of time. Hints of the rooms’ previous uses are woven in, such as a frying pan in what was the kitchen, to give a flavour of the house in its early life through display cases. Graphics panels are used to provide context to the displays of artefacts and leaflets provide more detailed information for those interested in delving a little deeper. Visitors are invited to tell their own stories by writing them on postcards. These are placed in boxes and shared via the Headstone Manor Museum website and their Facebook page.
We also managed the production of a film which includes a combination of CGI and fly-overs to provide an introduction to the museum.
Jo Saunders, Headstone Manor’s Heritage and Museum Manager