95 High Street, Rochester
Huguenot Heritage Centre
95, High Street, Rochester
Since the purchase of 95 High Street Rochester, within which is situated Rochester’s Visitor Information Centre (VIC), the French Hospital has been working to improve its existing charitable housing as well as planning to develop new accommodation.
The council’s Visitor Information Centre will remain on the ground floor of 95 High Street and it is intended that the upper floors, at the rear of the building, will be converted into four new two-bedroom flats.
A major, and really exciting, part of the whole Project is the development of the upper floors, at the front and centre of the building, as the Huguenot Heritage Centre (HHC).
Huguenot Heritage Centre Update
Visitor Information Centre 95, High Street [Photos by Ian Mackenzie]
In September 2012 we were delighted to receive confirmation of a Round 1 development grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), to research and develop our ideas for a Huguenot Heritage Centre at 95 High Street. This research will take around a year and we will be submitting the Round 2 bid in Autumn 2013. If this bid is successful we will be hoping to open the Huguenot Heritage Centre in Spring 2015.
The Huguenot Heritage Centre will be delivered in two phases. The first phase will include:
- A Huguenot Heritage Centre situated above the Visitor Information Centre, open five days a week (probably Wednesday to Sunday).
- A lecture theatre, where visitors can watch an introductory film, or films, which tell the Huguenot story.
- A Genealogy Room with computers with databases and other information provided. The intention is that volunteers will be on hand to help people research their Huguenot ancestries.
- The French Hospital collections, assembled over its long history and currently displayed at 41 La Providence, displayed in environmentally-controlled display cases with engagingly-written display panels and labels.
- Large digital screens with changing images on them telling the story of the Huguenots and their flight from France to England.
- A map of the world, showing where the Huguenots have settled.
- A professional craftsman’s workbench with the necessary tools for craft demonstrations.
- A small display about the history of the French Hospital.
- Some conservation work to the collections.
- Recruiting a part-time General Manager and part-time Learning Officer.
- Creating a schools programme during the week and family activities at weekends.
Phase two will aim to upgrade some of the displays and interpretations with more interactive exhibits designed better to engage visitors, in line with some of the most modern museums in the UK today. During this Phase, the Huguenot Heritage Centre will aim to run a greater number of special events and activities, and to increase its contact with schools and other learners.
Both phases will rely on the committed support of a cadre of volunteers. We hope that some of our Residents and Friends will be interested in helping when the time comes.
A campaign has been launched to raise funds for this exciting project. If you would like to give to the Campaign, please directions on how to do so, below.
In order that your donation is properly recorded and so that you have the opportunity to specify any conditions of your donation, we need you to complete both donation forms. This will offer you the opportunity to 'Gift-Aid' your donation.
This building also provides meeting rooms / conference facilities that are ideal for business meetings, training sessions, lectures and more...