Major new accreditation puts Winterbourne House and Garden on official museums map

Winterbourne House and Garden (Phil Smith)

Winterbourne House and Garden joins the city’s world-class museum collection thanks to a new award by Arts Council England which upgrades the centre to museum status by formal Accreditation.

The historic Edwardian house located in seven acres of botanic garden at the edge of the University of Birmingham Edgbaston campus has been recognised by Arts Council England as offering outstanding visitor experience, as well as meeting rigorous sustainability standards. The recognition also makes Winterbourne the first University Botanic Garden to achieve the museum title.

Winterbourne, commissioned in 1903 by John Sutton Nettlefold for his young family, employs the traditional Arts and Craft style in its design both inside and out. Open to the public in 2010, the home now welcomes visitors from around the world to discover period antiques and enjoy interactive displays and hands-on learning exhibits for all ages including several 19th Century printing presses which are used for workshops and demonstrations. It is also home to a vast botanic garden which boasts over 6000 different plant species, a gallery, reading room and gift shop. 

Lee Hale, Head of Winterbourne, said: “We are delighted to receive this new Accreditation. Not only does museum status recognise the outstanding collections at the House and Garden but also the enhanced visitor experience, which is at the forefront of what we do. We are committed to public engagement and ensuring the House and Gardens are accessible and inspiring for a diverse audience, offering educational opportunities for all ages.”

The Accreditation Scheme,a partnership between the Arts Council, the Welsh Government, Museums Galleries Scotland and the Northern Ireland Museums Council, sets nationally agreed standards for museums in the UK. It is regarded as one of the most innovative and effective developments in the museum sector and has led the way in raising museum standards in the country.

Ian Grosvenor, Professor with Responsibility for City and Cultural Liaison, said: “This is landmark moment for Winterbourne, giving an important seal of approval for the team who have transformed the visitor experience in recent years and further enhancing the cultural offer on campus. My congratulations to all those involved in this great success!”

Notes to editors

For more information, please contact Samantha Williams, Communications and Stakeholder Engagement Manager, University of Birmingham: +44 (0)121 414 3984