Stratford Guildhall


Dating from around 1420, Stratford’s Guildhall was where William Shakespeare attended school. It was also the administrative and judicial heart of Stratford, serving as the office of the Guilds, a civil court, the armory and town council chamber. It is one of a handful of surviving medieval Guildhalls, and contains very rare 15th century wall paintings. It is of international significance, and remains part of King Edward VI School to this day.

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The project received an HLF Round 1 pass for funding to conserve and open the Guildhall as a heritage attraction and Imagemakers was commissioned to prepare an interpretation design report (RIBA ‘Stage D’) to support the Round 2 application.


Putting together the report involved substantial research and consultation with the client and subject specialists; collaborative design development with the client and design team and, working with the Activity Plan consultants, market testing the formative evaluation proposals, public consultation displays, focus group discussions and virtual tours in situ.


Solutions include ‘soundscape’ audio experiences, including an ‘on arrival’ introduction given with a welcoming ‘class card’ that visitors can refer to during a 10 minute ‘lesson’ in the schoolroom. The lessons are the highlight of the visit and are held on a rolling basis throughout the day; visitors can take their cards home as a souvenir.


Other interpretation includes AV presentations, a children’s activity pack, a range of foreign language summary sheets, themed illustrated graphic panels and low tech interactives that include 3D cut-away illustrations, an interactive touchscreen, replica models and artefact displays.


We also prepared a cost plan, maintenance plans, wireframe diagrams and site maps for the digital media and drawings for lighting and power requirements. We have also proposed an app tour in Mandarin Chinese in response to the increasing cultural links between the UK and China – this will be outside of the HLF funding.


In June (2015) The Guildhall received a Grade 2 pass and Imagemakers is now preparing to undertake the design and build phase.