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Postbridge Visitor Centre

Dartmoor National Park

Value

£500,000

Services

  • Architecture
  • Landcape Design
  • Project Management

"This was an excellent and sensitively designed project, set in a spectacular landscape, constructed from traditional materials and detailing, to refresh and bring life back into the existing visitor centre."

CHRIS JAYDESIGN DIRECTOR
Name

CHRIS JAY

DIRECTOR - DESIGN & MAINTENANCEMCIOB
Telephone
07917 559222
Email
Chris.Jay@nps.co.uk
View Biography

"Solution-focused and confident at finding a pathway to success, I am skilled at working with clients in delivering their aspirations. My varied skillset and wide experience enable me to lead and support my team for the benefit of my clients."

Project Summary

The new visitor centre at Postbridge, which opened in August 2020, was built to share and celebrate Dartmoor’s incredible Bronze Age heritage. One of the highlights is the story of the internationally significant Bronze Age finds at Whitehorse Hill.

Dartmoor is the most important area for Bronze Age archaeology in Western Europe, with more than 1,500 burial cairns and over 4,000 hut circles.

In 2011, a small stone-built coffin-like box was excavated at Whitehorse Hill and it is believed the remains inside were those of a high-born young woman. She was buried with personal items including a woven basket containing beads, a leather and textile band and a finely woven bracelet with tin studs.

The centre tells the story of who she was and how she lived, through her own eyes, and replicas of the items are on display alongside a handcrafted roundhouse.

Linking with the government’s 25 Year Environment Plan, as well as the 2019 National Landscapes Review, this is the next step in Dartmoor National Park Authority’s long-term plan to connect people with Dartmoor’s fascinating history, heritage and habitats.

The authority secured £500,000 from the Rural Development Programme for England to fund the building works. This helped expand on the already improved offer at Postbridge, which was funded, in part, through the National Lottery Heritage Fund Landscape Partnership, Moor than meets the eye.

Project Overview

A state-of-the-art, fully accessible energy-efficient visitor centre, featuring the latest technology to bring history to life in amazing detail and giving visitors to the national park a unique and special experience.

Project Impact

Double in size, the new visitor centre, which is visited by 58,000 people a year, features a single-storey addition, with a new reception area for visitor information, together with the exhibition spaces.

The building incorporates a mix of traditional and modern materials, such as steel framing, natural granite walls – sourced from a local quarry – zinc roofing, aluminium windows and Douglas Fir cladding, the timber of which was grown indigenously.

This design reflects the local vernacular of agricultural buildings found on the moor.

High-level windows provide natural daylight, keeping walls free for exhibition displays. These link seamlessly into the landscape helping people to confidently explore the surrounding area’s amazing cultural heritage.

The building can now accommodate events, activities and school visits; encouraging people to stay longer and visit local shops, cafes and pubs, which supports the local economy.

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