28/08/2019
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Hill House gains museum accreditation for the first time

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Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s ‘domestic masterpiece’ The Hill House in Helensburgh has gained official museum accreditation for the first time.

The Museum Accreditation Scheme is the UK industry standard for museums and galleries and is assessed by Museums Galleries Scotland in conjunction with Arts Council England, the Welsh Government and the Northern Ireland Museums Council. It is a benchmark that recognises how museums are run, how the collections are managed and how the venue engages with audiences.

The Hill House accreditation makes it the tenth National Trust for Scotland property to be recognised in this way. Properties owned by the charity already holding accreditation are Culloden, Culross Palace, House of Dun, Fyvie Castle, Broughton House, Pollok House, Robert Burns Birthplace Museum, Brodick Castle and Hugh Miller’s Birthplace Cottage.

New recognition

The application process was conducted over 12 months, with the final inspection taking place as The Hill House reopened to the public in June, after the installation of the chainmail ‘box’ which surrounds the property to protect it from the elements.

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Explaining the significance of the accreditation, David Hopes, Head of Collections and Interiors at the National Trust for Scotland said: “By becoming an accredited museum we’re able to borrow items more easily and apply for funding. It also opens the door for the collection to be recognised as being of ‘National Significance’, a scheme which is only open to accredited museums.

“The award shows that The Hill House has reached certain standards in terms of how it is managed, how we look after the collection, and how we make the property accessible to the public. It also means we can make a claim to own any archaeology found in the vicinity.

“It’s always a long process gaining accreditation but it’s definitely worth it. We’ve got a good variety of properties that we’ve put forward for the scheme over the years in terms of location and property type. They’ve all got strong research interest and support and really show the breadth of what we do at the Trust to safeguard these places for future generations.”

(images copyright NTS Media Pics)

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