It has Tudor racing bells, Georgian ball gowns, Suffragette photographs, over 100,000 insects, 16th century bandits’ armour and one of the oldest violins in the world. It welcomes toddlers for weekly baby sessions and Brownies for sleepovers, and has family-friendly tray liners in the café with mazes to trace your way back to a Roman fort.
The winner of the 2015 Telegraph Family Friendly Museum Award is 120-year-old Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery in Carlisle, Cumbria, close to the England-Scotland border.
Record breaking year
The Family Friendly Museum Award is the biggest museum award in Britain. In 2015, the Award broke all our previous records with over 850 nominations, from tiny one-roomed galleries to mighty museums of international reputation.
It’s the only Award where families pick the winner. Here’s why 10 year old Zara said Tullie House should win:
“Tullie House is our favourite, favourite, favourite museum in the whole world. We go with Gran and Grandad all the time. There are so many cool things to see and do.
“It is great cos Granddad knows lots of stuff, but sometimes he doesn’t know so we ask the ladies cos they always know. The ladies in the museum are very nice and friendly, so it makes us feel safe and happy.”
Undercover family judges
Six shortlisted museums were road-tested by undercover families against the 20 points on the Kids in Museums Manifesto. Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery shone through as the most welcoming on all counts, from the temporary exhibitions to the toilets.
Unprecedented commendation for outstanding contribution
Shortlisted museum, the Winding House in Caerphilly, Wales, was given a Special Commendation for Outstanding Contribution to their Local Community – the first time any museum has been given such a commendation. This is in recognition of the testimonies local families gave to their museum, saying how much it meant to them.
The winner and special commendation were announced on Thursday 24 September at an award ceremony at the Telegraph Media Group, sponsors of the Family Friendly Museum Award.
Among our celebrity guests were: historian, author and Kids in Museums Patron Dan Snow; broadcaster, art expert and Kids in Museums President Philip Mould and Culture Minister Ed Vaizey.
We want to thank all the people who nominated their favourite museums, our hardworking volunteers and of course all the museums and their teams for being so super.
We’ll be back next year with another award, but meantime it’s not too late to get involved with Takeover Day.
Previous winners of the Family Friendly Museum Award are:
2004 Award winner, Killhope Mining Museum
2005 Award winner, Oxford Museums
2006 Award winner, Falmouth Art Gallery
2008 Award winner, Weston Park Museum, Sheffield
2010 Award winner, The Herbert Art Gallery and Museum
2011 Award winner, Mansfield Museum
2012 Award winner, Haslemere Educational Museum
2013 Award winners, Brixham Heritage Museums and Horniman Museum and Gardens