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Tactile model of the Mount
In partnership with the National Trust we are currently planning, designing and building a visitor centre. This brand new facility will be situated in the Barge House in the heart of the village at the base of the island and will be the focal point for all of our visitors. In particular, it will provide an experience for visitors that are unable to take the climb to the castle, or around the gardens.
St Michael’s Mount is one of the most iconic and instantly recognisable attractions in the south west. We pride ourselves on providing every visitor with a great experience and our feedback and visitor enjoyment scores reflect this. However, our accessibility has been a continual challenge.
The centre piece of the visitor centre is to be a tactile model of the island. This will enable all our visitors to gain an understanding and appreciation of the island, its scale and intricacies and the visitor’s position in relation to the island as a whole.
Using the data provided by a recent 3d survey of the island, and working with local sculptor Tom Leaper, the model will be an accurate representation of St Michael’s Mount which visitors can touch, feel, and explore with their hands and eyes. The photo above shows the model mid-creation, we are looking forward to seeing the next stage which will involve Tom ‘planting’ the trees on the East side of the island.
The sculpture will have public routes marked in braille, points of interest, topographical and geological reference points. The model will sit on a plinth at height comfortable for those standing but which will enable wheelchair users to get close enough to touch and experience the model. The material will ensure it is durable enough for the hundreds of thousands of hands that will touch and explore it every year.
We applied to the National Trust Access committee for additional funding and were successful in securing 50% of the cost towards the model.
With the National Trust as our partner we are creating an experience that is ‘forever, for everyone’ and the funding we have secured will enable us to fulfil our vision of providing an excellent visitor experience for ALL, regardless of ability or mobility.
The Barge House will open mid-May 2016.