Fifty UK heritage sites were recognised for excellence in heritage education on Wednesday (20th November) when they received a prestigious Sandford Award.

Best-selling author and historian Alison Weir presented the awards at a ceremony which was held at The National Gallery in London.

The awards are jointly managed by Bishop Grosseteste University in Lincoln and the Heritage Education Trust, and the winners represent a rich variety of heritage sites from across the country.

Among this year's winners were The Giant's Causeway in Antrim, Harewood House in Yorkshire, Normanby Hall near Scunthorpe, Hampton Court Palace, the National Coal Mining Museum for England, Brading Roman Villa on the Isle of Wight and Verdant Works, a former jute mill in Dundee.

Jean MacIntyre, Head of Innovation at Bishop Grosseteste University, said: "The National Gallery is an iconic institution and we were delighted to be able to present the Sandford Awards here this year.

"We hope that our awards play a small part in highlighting the very important heritage education work that is done by many organisations and sites across the country."

Sandford Award Winners 2013

Anglican Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham

Leeds Industrial Museum at Armley Mills

Avoncroft Museum of Buildings

Bantock House Museum

The Beaney House of Art and Knowledge

Belton House

Boughton House

The Bowes Museum

Brading Roman Villa

The Commandery

Derby Museum and Art Gallery


Discovery Point and RRS Discovery

Eastbury Manor House


Fota Wildlife Park

The Giant's Causeway

Gladstone Pottery Museum

Great Cressingham Victorian School

Hampton Court Palace

Harewood House

The Historic Dockyard Chatham

Jackfield Tile Museum

The John Moore Museum

Lancashire Archives

Leeds Art Gallery

Leeds Museum Discovery Centre

Muckross Traditional Farms

Museum of Cannock Chase

National Coal Mining Museum for England

The National Gallery

National Museum of Wales

Normanby Hall

North Lincolnshire Museum

Ordsall Hall

Penlee House Gallery and Museum

The Priest's House Museum

Ripon Museum Trust

River & Rowing Museum

Royal Cornwall Museum

Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, UEA

St Albans Cathedral Education Centre

Salford Museum and Art Gallery

Staircase House Museum

Thwaite Mills Watermill

Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery Trust

Tunbridge Wells Museum and Art Gallery

Verdant Works

The Wallace Collection

The Workhouse, Southwell

News release

22nd November 2013

Notes to editors

  • The Sandford Awards were established in 1978 by Lord Sandford to encourage those responsible for running historic houses and guide their educational endeavours by monitoring standards.
  • The awards were originally administered run by The Council for Environmental Education. To develop the awards more fully, the Heritage Education Trust was established in 1983 and now runs the scheme in collaboration with Bishop Grosseteste University.
  • Bishop Grosseteste University was established in uphill Lincoln in January 1862 and celebrated its 150th anniversary in 2012.
  • It is an independent higher education institution which awards its own degrees at foundation, undergraduate and postgraduate level.
  • It changed its name from Bishop Grosseteste University College to Bishop Grosseteste University in November 2012.
  • Alison Weir is a British writer of history books and historical novels, mostly in the form of biographies about British royalty. Her works on the Tudor period have made her a best-selling author.

28th November 2013