An old black and white photo of Weston Museum

This is another post to talk about the wonderful website that is ‘Know Your Place’, www.kypwest.org.uk and to give you a flavour of the information it offers.

Each week for the next six weeks, the museum team and North Somerset Council’s historic environment team, will be looking at a different building or historic artefact, to see what it can tell us about the past and how it can inspire us.

Questioning techniques allow us to interpret the past. Questions used by historians and archaeologists include: What has changed? What has stayed the same? Can we find out why it has changed?  There are always many more questions than there are answers!  Historical evidence can include: written evidence, personal accounts, diaries, newspapers, maps, plans and manuscripts to name but a few.

This week we have been researching the museum building itself and creating learning activities for different ages.  These can be found at www.westonmuseum.org or www.facebook.com/westonmuseum.

Weston-Super-Mare Museum
Weston Museum today

Archaeologists and historians have developed a range of techniques that can be used when studying buildings, including surveying and recording.  Buildings are the places where people lived or worked and provide information about the way of life and attitudes of past societies.  Examining a building’s structure and location is just like peeling back layers of history!

This is what Know Your Place has to say about the building:

Weston Gaslight Company

“Designed as one of the last commissions by Weston’s foremost Victorian architects Hand Fowler Price and built in 1912, it was originally the workshops and stores of the Weston Gaslight Company.  In 1975 it was converted by the local authority into a new museum.  Inside the central glass roofed courtyard, are the original wood blocks, the sole surviving wood blocked street in Weston”.

Inside Weston Museum

So what is Know Your Place?

Know Your Place is an online mapping resource that allows you to search through historic maps, images and information for the west of England.  You can explore it by going to http://www.kypwest.org.uk

How is it funded?

The project has been possible thanks to a National Lottery ‘Sharing Heritage’ grant and the Great Weston Heritage Action Zone.

What is the Sharing Heritage project?

This has been a year-long partnership project between Weston Museum supported by Weston-super-Mare Town Council and North Somerset Council.  Since last June, volunteers at Weston Museum have been working hard, to research and upload images and historical information to the community layer of the website.

What is the purpose of the project?

The project aim is to enhance the community layer of the existing website, by creating new entries and adding further detail to existing entries.  The historical information is a useful planning tool, but also has educational value too.

Has lock down affected the project?

Volunteers have been working hard at home to upload information. Unfortunately the outreach events were cancelled but we set up Twitter and Facebook groups instead which have had a huge amount of engagement.  You can join them at https://www.facebook.com/groups/638416113618702/

https://twitter.com/kypnorthsom?lang=en

How can teacher’s use the website?

The website has a learning pack http://www.kypwest.org.uk/learning-pack/ There are downloadable lessons, activity ideas, heritage resources and worksheets to support school lessons, fieldwork and group sessions.

As part of the project there are also our tailor made resources on Iron Age North Somerset, stained glass, before and after and a trail from Weston Museum to Grove Park.  These can be found at  https://www.westonmuseum.org/know-your-place/

How can I get involved?

If you have a photograph that you would like to share, you can upload it to the community layer yourself by following the online training.  http://www.kypwest.org.uk/explore-the-map/training-resources/

Don’t worry about making a mistake, as the entries are validated by North Somerset Council’s historic environment team.  We look forward to seeing your entries!