Where Britain’s history lives: a new look for Historic Houses
The Historic Houses Association today reveals its new Historic Houses brand and revamped membership scheme.
The UK’s castles and historic houses are the backbone of its world-leading tourism industry. Each year, 26 million visits are made to independently owned historic houses across our four nations. Unveiled ahead of English Tourism Week (but equally significant for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland tourism too), there is now a new look for one of the most important parts of the UK heritage sector.
Historic Houses is the new name of the Historic Houses Association, the UK’s largest collection of independently owned historic houses and gardens. Few people realise that most historic houses open to the public are looked after by independent owners rather than by charities or government. Historic Houses represents these houses and celebrates the different ways in which they can be supported and enjoyed, including through visits, special tours, overnight stays, weddings and events, or as film locations.
In its first rebrand for 30 years, the new-look Historic Houses will seek to attract more new members than ever before, emphasising that its houses are not static museums but lived-in family homes with thousands of stories from the past, present and future waiting to be discovered by visitors.
Historic Houses members are given free access to more than 320 of the most significant historic houses and gardens across the country. Each of these places has a unique charm and is full of fascinating stories. Our houses range from famous places like Burghley, Woburn and Longleat to smaller but equally compelling destinations such as Stonor in Oxfordshire, Kelburn Castle in Ayrshire, and Seaforde Gardens in County Down.
Annual membership, which costs from just £50, offers visitors the chance to get out and discover some amazing heritage, whether on their doorstep or further afield.
Ben Cowell, Historic Houses Director General, said: “With so many places waiting to be explored – including many quirky ‘hidden gems’ – we want to shout about who we are and what we do. We think our membership scheme has tremendous potential to grow support for this important part of our heritage. Remarkably, our membership scheme has almost been a trade secret until now, and usually only discovered through word-of-mouth.
“Our bold new brand aims to change all that, and to communicate what’s so special about the places we represent. Our houses are not static museums, but living examples of Britain’s past, present and future. Making sure that these houses have a viable future remains our long-term goal, and we think the best way to do this is to make sure their contribution and our mission is better known and supported.
“We’ll be doing all we can therefore to highlight the many stories of the places we represent, and to encourage them to be better valued and appreciated, by the public as well as by government.”