The term ‘heritage sites’ is a broad one — including museums, libraries, archives, science and exploratory centres, monuments, religious or public buildings, gardens or parks, archaeological sites and historic houses.
A heritage site holds historical significance in terms of its buildings, land or collections. Galleries house specifically artistic work; some have permanent collections of significant historical and/or contemporary works and others are home to temporary exhibitions.
Most heritage venues are acquisitors of valuable items. They are home to expert conservators and academic researchers; and rather than simply presenting their collections, they actively promote understanding and enjoyment through experience-based learning.
It is not always easy to distinguish between different sorts of heritage sites and galleries and sometimes you can miss them altogether. Your local library might have a small museum of local history attached. Your town hall might house an archive, museum or art collection. Your local park might be home to an archaeological site, or might once have been part of a grand local estate. So look carefully and look locally for some hidden treasures.
Some schools create ‘heritage features’ within their grounds — such as an archaeological digging site. They may first be introduced to techniques and practices within their grounds before using these on visits. In a similar way they could return to their site to develop skills used on a visit.
Students may look at what heritage means to them, through investigating their school grounds as well as visits off-site, then gathering these ideas to make changes to their site. These investigations could be used to create features that reflect an aspect of local heritage, such as the species planted in a hedge or an artwork reflecting local industry.
Download more information about heritage sites.