• Beeston Castle, Cheshire: An analysis of interpretation and presentation methodology

      Pardoe, James; McGuicken, Rachel (University of Liverpool (Chester College of Higher Education), 2000-11)
      The aim of interpretation is to display a thing of significance to the public by communicating its values. It is argued here that, while acknowledging its significance, the heritage management of a monument should not isolate it, either from its continuity, or from its wider context. Although heritage interpretation and presentation methodologies are discussed, the definition of 'heritage' itself is not, this being considered a subject and debate in its own right. The dissertation effectively consists of two parts: Chapters 1 and 2 discuss issues and considerations regarding interpretation and presentation for both monuments and their exhibitions, and attempt to place English Heritage's role within this process. The second part, Chapters 3 to 5, is a case study based on Beeston Castle, Cheshire. Its significance historically, architecturally and archaeologically, is discussed before placing it in a wider context and concludes with an analysis of English Heritage's interpreation and presentation methodology at the site, drawing on comparisons with other monuments and their exhibitions. The dissertation finds that Beeston Castle embodies a power that has metamorphosed over centuries, now lying with the visitor and English Heritage. A sustainable future for Beeston Castle is dependent on English Heritage's ability to serve different people, managing conflicts and balancing the needs of each group with the need to preserve the site for future generations. Such balancing results in the failure, in the main, to convey the continuity of this site and isoloates it from its wider context, this opinion itself being open to interpretation.