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Honeywood House Museum Sutton




Honeywood House was built in the 17th century. A Grade II listed building, it houses the London Borough of Sutton’s principal museums collection. We developed the interpretation strategy for Honeywood through to a successful HLF Round 2 submission. No design input had been incorporated pre Round 1 submission, therefore the challenge and opportunity for the design team was to create a scheme that is truly unexpected, participative and highly memorable.


Our key rationalising principle for the interpretation plan was to consider place through people, matching key target audiences with achievable learning outcomes. The stories explored within Honeywood Museum are presented through a narrative approach, and focused around key characters who lived and worked in the house. The house itself is considered to be a tool for visitors to use, in exploring, revealing, uncovering, investigating and discovering. This was crucial in reflecting the aspiration for Honeywood to be unexpected and fun.


As an interpretation and design team we took an open-minded and creative approach, looking at the project from both the expert and the visitor perspective. Audience consultation was a key part of the scheme’s development, with staff and volunteers becoming part of a collaborative team. We ensured that the needs of various audiences were considered and that the designs link to the aims outlined in the Museum’s activity plan. We delivered the proposals ready for HLF submission to a tight time scale and within budget.


Philip Simpson Design played a crucial role in bringing a formerly run down local asset to life: just seven months after re-opening, Honeywood House Museum, a unique local history museum in the London Borough of Sutton, looks likely to exceed its target of 19,000 visitors before the end of the year. We working closely with the curatorial team, were instrumental in creating the look, feel and content of the museum, set within a Grade II listed building, and brought it from first concepts through a successful HLF Round 2 submission.

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