The Temple Manor project is coming to an end, but its legacy will remain for many years. Through the hard work and commitment of students from the Academy, Temple Manor in Strood is once again on the map. For the past year we have worked with the Guildhall Museum to re-establish the manor as a place of interest in our community. Through a grant of £50,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund’s Young Roots programme, we have been able to overhaul the visitor experience, especially the interpretation of the building itself.
As well as new graphic panels, we have developed “Sergeant Brother Alan”, a digital avatar, to tell visitors about the Order of the Temple. A 3D digital reconstruction of the oldest portion of the building allows visitors to see how it looked when it was built in 1240. For younger visitors there are hands on activities: a tithe map floor jigsaw; off-duty knight’s costumes to try on; and farm Playmobil with which to recreate life on the medieval estate.
Students have shown dedication to the project and gained valuable skills in areas like communication, project management, heritage interpretation, design, publicity and team working. They have also had the opportunity to find out about the construction industry. Redrow’s SE Planning Director led several sessions including a site visit to investigate refurbishing and improving the existing “spooky and spidery” toilet block. Students gained an understanding of planning regulations and the necessity of taking the impact on resident wildlife into account.
We are so proud of the students who have taken part in the project.