Salisbury Cathedral

Interpretation Strategy and Phase 1 Implementation

Delivery of an overarching site-wide narrative that told an inclusive, accessible and relevant story to self-guided visitors whilst complementing the experience for those that chose the option of a guided Cathedral tour. Polly Richards was initially commissioned by the Cathedral in 2019 to deliver a site-wide Interpretation Strategy that outlined a vision for the future development of the permanent visitor offer over 5-10 years. To inform this strategy, Polly facilitated 16 intensive workshops with members of staff from across the whole of the Cathedral. In 2021 the Cathedral re-engaged Polly to help them to improve interpretation in the Main Cathedral in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. Key objectives were to increase emotional engagement and to ensure the experience was accessible, inclusive and relevant, ‘so that everyone who visits thinks this is about me’ regardless of their faith. Polly enlisted interpretation consultants Zakira Begum and Maria Blyzinsky to support her work on this project and led the team to consider inclusive representation in every aspect of the narrative’s development and implementation. Together, they recommended a layered approach to the new interpretation that was visually led (to engage family and foreign visitors) and the use of QR codes to enable the Cathedral’s community to tell their previously hidden stories through a series of bite-sized videos.

Site: Salisbury Cathedral

Role:  Lead Interpretation Consultant

Target Audiences: Over 55s, International Visitors, Family groups, Local Non-Visitors.

Opened: May 2022

Main photo: Creative commons.