Voices of St Mary's
St Mary's Collegiate Church, Youghal
Cork County Council
Local relevance but communicating global messages, this was one of the most amazing projects for Scroope Design reminding us of why we love our work!
St Mary's Collegiate Church is a living church therefore any intervention had to be sensitive to the church community and services.
For the interpretative strategy we looked to the the International Council of Monuments and Sites Charter on the Interpretation and Presentation of Cultural Heritage Sites (2008), in particular principle 3 on intangible heritage and principle 6 on meaningful collaboration and inclusiveness.
Interpretation is founded on three authenticities; historical as indicated by the materiality of place, heritage as illustrated by the constructed stories it holds, and personal as indicated by the visitors' encounter.
We aimed to create a cohesion between the experience of being in this sacred place, the value and meaning it embodies and the media by which the tourist visitor can engage.
We consulted with local community groups on their perceptions, then mapped these to the church stories. We created a multilingual audio guide modelled on a radio play and enhanced the existing guided tour by introducing character role play for children.
Most significantly we carried out indepth original research into the architectural evolution of the church, discovering new information, enabling us to create a series of animations depicting the changes over 1000 years.
The physical intervention is deliberately modest, the emotional and intellectual enhancement is rich and engaging.
The primacy of the church remains.
Scroope Design produces work that is distinctive, unique and full of integrity. She will always stay true to the values of the project eg: sympathetic to the building, memories/legacy of those past etc.
Aileen Murray, Youghal Socio-Economic Development Group