The Heritage Awards are organised by the Forum, and are a chance to celebrate the achievements of museums and historic houses across the county. The Awards both reward achievement and promote the variety of work undertaken by museums and historic houses during the year. They are also a chance to recognise the hard work of volunteers and staff.

This annual event showcases the heritage of the county and is an opportunity to bring members of the museum, historic house and heritage sector in the county together. Winners of the award ceremony in 2010 went on to win in the regional awards.

Entry to the awards is open to all members of Northamptonshire Museums and Historic Houses Forum irrespective of size or how the organisation is funded. The judges look for well-run projects using the resources available, so all the organisations within the Forum have the same opportunities irrespective of their size.



Thursday, 20th July

Awards Celebrate Best of Northamptonshire's Heritage


Heritage Hurrahs for Northamptonshire!

On a golden evening at beautiful Sulgrave Manor, the leading lights of Northamptonshire's heritage organisations gathered together to celebrate their best achievements at the annual Heritage Awards.

The evening was hosted by John Griff from BBC Radio Northampton, a long time champion of the history of our county, and supporter of the Northamptonshire Heritage Forum.

Judges and VIP Guests included representatives from the University of Northampton, Northants County Council and the Northamptonshire Community Foundation. Many regional Heritage organisations were present, including Museum Development East Midlands, Destination Nene Valley, and representatives from both South and East Northants Council. Jonathan Platt and Jim Harker representing the Heritage Lottery Fund, and James Mackaness, the Deputy Lord Lieutenant helped to present the awards.

This year the judges reported that Northamptonshire was demonstrating innovation and excellence in many areas, with the standards of the mainly volunteer run organisations setting the bar high.

Highlights of the award winners include the winner of the People's Choice award, Irchester Narrow Gauge Railway Museum. This category is the only award voted for by the public. The big award, Heritage Organisation of the Year 2017 was won by Spratton Local History Society for their exemplary research, community involvement and website.

Jane Baile of Prebendal Manor and Chair of the Northamptonshire Heritage Forum ended the evening by reporting on a very successful year for the Forum, which has included the integration of the members of the Northampton Association of Local History. Her message was to take advantage of all the opportunities we currently have to promote our organisations, both using the Northamptonshire Surprise website, and all the more usual forms of social media. We all need to let the public know what a wonderful county we live in! Jane congratulated the winners and encouraged all the members of the Forum to consider entering the awards next year.

About the Northamptonshire Heritage Forum

In a county rich with history and heritage, the Forum was created in 2002 to provide a unified voice for its members. The Forum is run by a committee of volunteers dedicated to supporting and promoting the membership, who include museums and galleries, historic houses, battlefields, transport heritage museums, history societies, heritage centres and individuals. The Forum provides advice, access to grants and training, joint marketing and promotion, and the opportunity to meet and share with like minded people. The Forum meets 4 times a year, including the annual Heritage Awards. Current membership includes around 130 organisations and individuals.

The patron of the Northamptonshire Heritage Forum is Earl Spencer Photograph of the 2017 winners below at Sulgrave Manor

Kettering Museum & Art Gallery for 'Comics Unstripped'
and Highly Commended
Daventry Museum for 'Law and Order'
Historic House
Althorp for their Food and Drink Festival
Daventry Museum for Centenary Commemoration of the Battle of the Somme
     Heart of the Community
Kettering Museum & Art Gallery for 'I Love Music' events and exhibition
Rushden Museum for the new study and research area
Northampton Museum & Art Gallery for the decanting of their collection in preparation for their expansion works
     Best project on a limited budget (£300 max) Northamptonshire Libraries and Information Service for their information boxes on the Battle of the Somme
     Hindsight Award for Best Published Work Desborough Heritage Centre for the 'Desborough Scrapbook'
     BBC Radio Northampton
Choice Award:
Irchester Narrow Gauge Railway Museum
     Heritage Organisation
of the Year:
Spratton Local History Society