Bath’s Herschel Museum of Astronomy is no stranger when it comes to winning awards, but two on the same night is something of a record.
As staff took to the stage in Bristol to collect the Gold award for best Small Visitor Attraction at the regional Tourism Awards, others were collecting a second place commendation at the Bath Live Business Awards for best Leisure and Tourism Business in Bath.
Caroline Kay, Chief Executive of Bath Preservation Trust which runs the Herschel Museum of Astronomy said:
“The Herschel Museum used to be considered a hidden gem in Bath, but not any more. It’s up there with the best of them now and we’re intensely proud of the staff and volunteers who have worked so hard to bring it to this level of recognition. That we won both a tourism award and a business award is testament to the way we reveal both the home and lives of brother and sister astronomers William and Caroline Herschel, seeing significant growth in visitor numbers and extending the offer while balancing the books on a tight budget.”
Earlier in the year the museum won a national Museums + Heritage Award for the best exhibition put on with a limited budget. The resulting exhibition, Wonder Women of Space in 2018 was a terrific celebration of some inspiring space heroines. This year the exhibition focusses on William Herschel’s innovative discovery of Infrared and how this science is benefiting futher explorations in space.
The Herschel Museum’s learning and engagement programme, including community projects and outreach work, has also been recognised with a 2019 Sandford Award for education excellence at an historic site.
Bath Preservation Trust, an amenity charity set up in 1934 to safeguard the heritage city of Bath and its surrounding green countryside, runs four museums in the city: No. 1 Royal Crescent, the Museum of Bath Architecture, Herschel Museum of Astronomy and Beckford’s Tower. The Museum of Bath Architecture received a Highly Commended in the same award category at the Bath, Bristol and Somerset Tourism Awards 2019.