“The Key to the North Project is a £3.5 million project at Pontefract Castle which includes conservation work to the monument, a new visitor centre, café, gift shop and museum, and site developments that will allow parts of the castle not seen for generations to be opened up to the public.

 

We appointed Dan to work with the Key to the North project team to develop a fresh and accessible vision for site interpretation. He worked to quite an extensive brief which he delivered on time. Not only did he help us identify the overall vision and what the main interpretative themes/stories might be, he also helped identify the optimum locations for the placement of the interpretation, how this might look and suggested the tone of language we should use to best engage our target audiences.

 

The resulting interpretation plan delivered exciting and creative results which we are now putting in to practice. Also, Dan became so engaged in the site and the fascinating stories that the castle had to tell that we felt confident that he could write the multimedia script for the onsite interpretation and consequently we further extended his work with us.”

Antonino Vella, Museums and Castles Manager, Wakefield Council

Interpretative planning with some of the Key to the North staff and volunteers

Interpretative planning with some of the Key to the North staff and volunteers

The interpretation consisting of sensory panels, ‘windows’ etched with artists’ impressions of how the castle once looked and wind up audio posts was installed in 2019.

The panel for the dungeon includes a reconstructed piece of grafitti etched into stone with a belt buckle!

“A survey conducted by the HLF done when the Key to the North projected was launched in 2015 noted that only seven people mentioned accessing information about the Castle via the old interpretation boards. In comparison 25% of (the 826) visitors to this year’s St George’s day event highlighted using the new interpretation boards. In addition, the evaluator observed several family groups positively interacting with the boards, and the puzzles.”

Antonino Vella, Museums and Castles Manager, Wakefield Council

The see-through panel has an artists’ impression of how the kitchen once looked provided a physical ‘Augmented Reality’ experience.

Where next?

Get in touch to learn how we can bring your visitor experience to life.