All Saints Church is a thriving historic Anglican parish church in the centre of Kingston upon Thames, with a history dating back to Saxon times. Philip Simpson Design developed a highly successful, thought provoking and engaging interpretation strategy to draw in a wide-ranging audience, using a variety of different media both high tech and traditional.
Working closely with the client team and Stuart Davis Associates, the treatment highlighted the significance of All Saints Parish Church to the local community. This involved researching and interpreting the site’s thousand or more years of history: it is ‘Where England Began’. Egbert, King of Wessex, held his great council at the site in 838. Seven Saxon kings of England, including Athelstan and Ethelred the Un- ready, were crowned here in the 10th century.
Our central strategy was to bring in narrators of all ages (rendered in photography and moving image) to add depth and enrich personal connection. The scheme includes: an interactive timeline;an AV by Elbow Productions on ‘Where England Began’; a vestry learning space; an I-Spy quiz for children; a self-guided audio tour; a map / memorial trail of the church and guidebook and website.
With multiple entry points and vistas, the story has to make sense from the moment the visitor steps across the threshold. They should be gently drawn around and into the vestry learning space to explore the unique facets of Kingston’s history while also discovering the monuments and memorials within the main body of the church.
The resulting scheme provides an elegant, fun and appropriate solution, while encompassing the key narrative themes, from the crowning of kings to the church’s role within contemporary Kingston today.