Tripadvisor “Certificate Of Excellence 2015” awarded to Museum

Volunteer, Nicole Englehardt and Front of House Manager, Alison Goff with the Certificate of Excellence from TripAdvisor

Volunteer, Nicole Englehardt and Front of House Manager, Alison Goff with the Certificate of Excellence from TripAdvisor

Recognised as a top performing Museum as reviewed by travellers on the World’s largest travel site, Dorset County Museum is thrilled to announce that it has received a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence Award for the third year in a row.

Now in its fifth year, the award celebrates excellence in tourist attractions and is given only to establishments that consistently achieve great reviews on TripAdvisor. Certificate of Excellence winners include attractions located all over the world that have continually delivered a superior customer experience.

When selecting Certificate of Excellence winners, TripAdvisor uses a proprietary algorithm that takes into account the quality, quantity and recency of reviews and opinions submitted by travellers on TripAdvisor over a 12-month period, as well as each attraction’s tenure and ranking on the Popularity Index on the site. To qualify, an attraction must maintain an overall TripAdvisor bubble rating of at least four out of five, have a minimum number of reviews and must have been listed on TripAdvisor for at least 12 months.

“Winning the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence is a true source of pride for the entire team at Dorset County Museum, and we’d like to thank all of our past guests who took the time to complete a review on TripAdvisor,” said Dr Jon Murden, Director of the Dorset County Museum. “There is no greater seal of approval than being recognised by your customers. With the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence based on customer reviews, the accolade is a remarkable vote of confidence in the Museum and our continued commitment to excellence.”

“TripAdvisor is pleased to honour exceptional hospitality businesses that have received consistent praise and recognition by travellers on the site,” said Marc Charron President, TripAdvisor for Business. “By putting a spotlight on hospitality businesses that are focused on delivering great service to customers, TripAdvisor not only helps drive increasing hospitality standards around the world, it also gives businesses both large and small the ability to shine and stand out from the competition.”

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Here lies the Body: Dorset Tenant Farmers and their Tombs a Literary Talk by Tim Connor

Churchyard GraveTim Connor is a retired school teacher who has written several articles on Dorset architecture of the nineteenth century, including Thomas Hardy’s Master: Church building and Reputation in the Dorset Career of John Hicks, published, by Museum, last year.

This talk has a slightly different focus, concentrating on chest tombs of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries in churchyards of West Dorset. These monuments have not been studied in any part of England before, and this study, shortly to be published, looks at both the design and social context of chest tombs, of which those of Dorset are turn out to be of considerable interest.

The lecture takes place at Dorset County Museum, 7.30pm on Thursday 19th February and doors are open from 7.00pm. The event is FREE of charge but a donation of £3.00 is encouraged to cover costs. For further information please see www.dorsetcountymuseum.org or telephone 01305 262735.

TripAdvisor® ‘Certificate of Excellence’ for Dorset Museum

Dorset County Museum awarded 'Certificate of Excellence' Recognised as a Top Performing Attraction as Reviewed by Visitors on the World’s Largest Travel Site

Dorset County Museum awarded ‘Certificate of Excellence’ Recognised as a Top Performing Attraction as Reviewed by Visitors on the World’s Largest Travel Site

Dorset County Museum in Dorchester, Dorset, is delighted to announce that it has received a TripAdvisor® Certificate of Excellence award – for the second year running. This prestigious award, which honours hospitality excellence, is given only to the top-performing 10% of establishments – those which consistently achieve outstanding traveller reviews on TripAdvisor, Establishments awarded the Certificate of Excellence are located all over the world and represent the upper echelon of businesses listed on the website.

Certificate of Excellence winners are selected using reviews ratings from its visitors – qualifying organisations must maintain an overall TripAdvisor rating of at least four out of five. Other factors include the volume and recency of reviews, the length of time a property has been listed, and a property’s popularity ranking.

“We are very grateful to our visitors for the positive reviews and high ratings they give us on TripAdvisor” said Jon Murden, Director of Dorset County Museum. “We are always working hard to improve the museum and one of the best ways to do this is to pay close attention to the independent feedback we receive from our visitors.”

Dorset County MuseumThe Museum is currently enjoying an increase in visitor numbers – in 2013 nearly 50,000 people visited the Museum including local residents, holidaymakers, researchers, educational groups and people coming to the many family activities, lectures and music events. The Dorset museum is also moving ahead with a major development project which will transform public access to its collections. Architects Carmody Groarke are assisting with an application to the Heritage Lottery Fund which will be made by the end of the year.

Fundraising activities continue to support the work required in advance of the application. For further information see www.dorsetcountymuseum.org/risetothechallenge

Dorset County Museum selects Award-winning architects for new project

Dorset County MuseumDorset County Museum in Dorchester has selected architects Carmody Groarke to renovate and expand their Grade II listed building in Dorchester.

The project would result in the creation of new galleries for Art, Natural History and Costume and Textiles plus a brand new custom-built exhibition space. In addition, the work will create a world-class archival facility and develop a series of new buildings and spaces that will provide more public access to the vast collection.

Named the ‘Collections Discovery Centre’, the project will include new facilities for display, education, research and the proper storage of reserve collections.

Dorset County Museum holds collections numbering approximately 3.5 million objects including one of the most important fossil collections in the UK and the Thomas Hardy Archive. Carmody Groarke’s approach will acknowledge the different curatorial interpretations of the collections and the variety of environmental conditions they require.

Dorset County Museum Development Appeal

David Taylor (Top)
Jon Murden (centre), Peter Down (second from front), Paul Atterbury (front) launch the fundraising project at Dorset County Museum. Photograph by George Wickham / DCM © 2013

Jon Murden, Director of Dorset County Museum said, “We see Carmody Groarke as a critical member of the team who will help turn our vision into reality. They have a track record of inspirational museum and heritage projects and helping smaller charitable organisations secure significant levels of funding to achieve their objectives.” For additional expertise, the Museum is also working with funding applications specialist Stephen Escritt of Counterculture.

The Team at Dorset county Museum are already fundraising in support of the project. Money has been received from private donors, individuals and some charitable trusts and the current Staircase Appeal is ongoing. Future plans include a ‘buy a brick’ campaign when the new building is given the go-ahead. For further information regarding the fundraising project, please contact David Taylor on 01305 262735.

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Book Launch: Thomas Hardy’s Master: John Hicks, Architect by T. P. Connor

Thomas Hardy's Master: John Hicks, Architect by T. P. Conner

T. P. Connor will launch his new book, Thomas Hardy’s Master: John Hicks, Architect, at Dorset County Museum on Thursday 29th May.

The Victorian architect John Hicks has always been eclipsed by the literary fame of his infinitely more distinguished pupil Thomas hardy. This new book looks at Hicks in his own right and in doing so, casts new light on Hardy’s years of architectural training.

T. P.  Connor was Head of History and the History of Art at Eton for nearly 20 years. He has written on early Palladian architecture, the Grant Tour and on a library in the English Civil war. His book will be available to buy on the night and is now on sale at Dorset County Museum’s shop priced at £8.50.

Following the book launch at 6.30pm there will be a lecture by Professor Roger Ebbatson about how Dorset writers have related to the rugged landscape surrounding Portland Bill. The lecture starts at 7.30pm and all are welcome.

Thomas Hardy Lecture: The Isle of Portland: Housman and Hardy by Prof. Roger Ebbatson

The character of Pierston, trying to commit suicide by taking his boat into The Race off Portland Bill.

The character of Pierston, trying to commit suicide by taking his boat into The Race off Portland Bill.

The current series of Thomas Hardy events at Dorset County Museum continues with a talk about how local writers have responded to Portland Bill.

On Thursday 29th May, Professor Roger Ebbatson of Lancaster University gives a talk entitled, The Isle of Portland: Some Literary Echoes. Prof Ebbatson will talk about the strange and rugged landscape surrounding Portland Bill; specifically looking at how writers like Thomas Hardy and AE Housman portrayed it in their work.

While Housman focussed on the predicament of a young convict, Hardy explored the landscape and folklore of Portland in his books and poems. In The Pursuit of the Well-Beloved, Hardy describes how one of his characters tries to commit suicide by taking a small boat out from Portland Bill into The Race. Knowing the area’s notorious reputation for strong currents and lethal sandbanks, the man expects that he will soon be drowned. However, his wishes are foiled by the brave actions of island boatmen who rescue him just in time!

The talk is FREE but donations are encouraged to cover costs. The lecture starts at 7.30pm on Thursday 29th May and the doors are open from 7.00pm. Everyone is welcome to attend.

Thomas Hardy's Master: John Hicks, Architect by T. P. Conner

Thomas Hardy’s Master: John Hicks, Architect by T. P. Conner

This lecture will be preceded by a Book Launch: Thomas Hardy’s Master: John Hicks, Architect by T. P. Conner at 6.30pm.  The Victorian architect John Hicks has always been eclipsed by the literary fame of his infinitely most distinguished pupil Thomas Hardy. This study assesses Hicks in his own right and in so doing casts light on Hardy’s years of architectural training. Hardy’s Master is the first attempt to bring the abundant documentation available, including important local newspapers, to bear o the career of an architect who had a profound impact on many Dorset churches. It includes a comprehensive list of architectural projects, both religious and secular, of Hicks’ practice in the county.

T. P. Connor was Head of History and the History of Art at Eaton for nearly twenty years. He has written on early Palladian architecture, the Grand Tour and on a library in the English Civil War in many different journals, and took the chance of retirement to study architecture of his new surroundings.