Wordsworth House shortlisted for award

Hard at work: Costumed servants in the kitchen at Wordsworth House

Hard at work: Costumed servants in the kitchen at Wordsworth House

Latest update 08.05.2014 11:29

Wordsworth House and Garden, the National Trust-owned historic house in the West Cumbrian town of Cockermouth, has been shortlisted for a prestigious national award.

The Museum and Heritage Awards for Excellence, to be held in London on 14 May, will see many of the UK and Europe’s finest museums, galleries and visitor attractions go head-to-head to be recognised for their inspiring and innovative exhibitions, conservation or customer service.

Wordsworth House and Garden, birthplace and childhood home of William and Dorothy Wordsworth, has been shortlisted for the Customer Service Award, which celebrates and rewards the attitude and commitment of staff and volunteers to achieving an outstanding customer experience.

Zoe Gilbert, Manager of Wordsworth House and Garden, said:' We’re absolutely thrilled to be shortlisted for such a high-profile award. It’s a wonderful recognition of the commitment and creativity that the team here put into making every visitor feel special and bringing the spirit of Wordsworth House and Garden to life.

'We are all passionate about our work here and I’m sure that shines through to visitors.'

'Extraordinary commitment and talent'

Museums and Heritage Awards for Excellence Director Anna Preedy said: 'The projects shortlisted this year are as rich, varied and diverse as the cultural sector we are fortunate enough to enjoy here in the UK. Our museums, galleries and heritage visitor attractions are an inspiration, making the UK a world-leader in terms of cultural sector skill, dedication and innovation. These awards reflect the extraordinary commitment and talent of the teams who work tirelessly at visitor attractions of all sizes across the UK.'

Wordsworth House has been looked after by the National Trust since 1938 and is brought to life by its 24 staff and a team of about 80 volunteers. The staff include costumed servants who cook, clean and gossip about life with the Wordsworths, just as the original employees would have. Visitors can join in with chores and taste traditional Cumbrian recipes, write with a quill and ink, dress up in replica costume, read books, rifle through cupboards and drawers, play with reproduction toys, and even play the harpsichord.

Comedian and broadcaster Sue Perkins will announce the winners at a glittering ceremony at the Historic State Rooms of 8 Northumberland in central London.

In 2013, Wordsworth House and Garden welcomed 26,622 visitors and 100 per cent of those completing a visitor survey rated their time as 'enjoyable' or 'very enjoyable'. Other aspects of their experience were measured on a scale of 1 (bottom) to 7 (top) and 96% rated the reception service at 6 or 7, while the entire house and garden team received a 6 or 7 rating from 94% for helpfulness, from 93% for warmth and friendliness, and from 93% for overall service.