Winterbourne House was the venue for a visit from a delegation from the Zhengjiang Province. The group included representatives from the provincial administration of cultural heritage, the provincial Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology and representatives of provincial and city museums. Collectively they were interested in finding out about how heritage is being managed and what models could be applicable back in China.

Winterbourne House and Gardens provides an interesting case study of a site that has undergone extensive conservation over the years and that is now functioning as a museum open to visitors. Lee Hale, Director of Winterbourne, gave a presentation of the transformations that have taken place and provided a guided tour of the House. As Lee pointed out, many of the plants in the collection came from China.

Professor Mike Robinson, Director of the Ironbridge International Institute for Cultural Heritage also provided an insight into how heritage sites are adapting to increasing pressure on public funding and drew upon the experiences of Ironbridge World Heritage Site, which the group went onto visit. Having visited Wenzhou in Zhenjiang Province, earlier this year, Mike and the group discussed potential heritage sites in this part of China.

The dialogue between the Zhenjiang visitors and UoB will continue, now with first hand experience of Winterbourne and Ironbridge, two of the University’s important heritage assets.