Victory for trailblazing Bannockburn

06 May 2015

Battle of Bannockburn experience took a top UK heritage award for innovation last week.

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The joint entry from the Trust and interpretation designers Bright White Ltd won the Innovation category at the Museums + Heritage Awards for Excellence in London, triumphing over competition from Stonehenge and the Science Museum.

Opened in February 2014, the Battle of Bannockburn experience is the first heritage centre in the world using Hollywood-calibre motion capture to immerse visitors in a realistic and historically accurate 3D medieval battle.

Judges said it showed a ‘new way forward for this kind of interpretation’.

The panel, which included Diane Lees of the Imperial War Museum and Bernard Donoghue of the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions added:

”With subject matter which is notoriously difficult to interpret, the technology used here has brought the battle ground to life, successfully managing to be both fun and educational.”

The cutting-edge approach was designed by interpretation consultants Bright White, working alongside the Glasgow School of Art’s Centre for Digital Documentation and Visualisation.

Property Manager Scott McMaster said:

“It is a huge honour to receive this prestigious award. Telling the story of Bannockburn has always been a challenge because of the lack of artefacts – a traditional approach was never going to work, so we did something brand new. To have this cutting-edge approach described as ‘a new way forward’ is a fantastic tribute to everyone involved.”

This is just the latest award to be received by the Battle of Bannockburn experience.

In late April, the work to restore the site’s commemorative monuments won the Tourism and Heritage category at the RICS awards in Scotland. As part of the restoration, the equestrian statue of Bruce was cleaned back to its original bronze finish, the rotunda was repaired and a brand new ringbeam, complete with a new poem by Kathleen Jamie was installed – completing the original design intention from the 1960s.

Other accolades achieved so far are the prestigious ‘best visitor attraction’ from the Association of Scottish Visitor Attractions awards, ‘best leisure/ cultural building’ from the Scottish Design Awards and winner of the education / learning website category at the Herald Digital Business Scotland Awards.

The Battle of Bannockburn experience was supported by the Scottish Government and the Heritage Lottery Fund. It’s open all year round, seven days a week.

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