Christmas Newsletter: Update 16th December 2016

Reflecting on the Year

In our last newsletter of 2016, we take time out from the Christmas rush to reflect on what we have achieved over the past twelve months.


Four Counties now mapped onto Know Your Place

From small beginnings, Know Your Place covering just Bristol at the start of 2016.

From small beginnings, Know Your Place covered just Bristol at the start of 2016.


In early February we began the growth of Know Your Place. KYP South Gloucestershire was launched, reaching 753 visitors in its first month alone. Since then it has seen the addition of 125 public contributions onto the information layer – and counting.

This was followed in early October with the launch of KYP in Wiltshire, Bath & North East Somerset, and Gloucestershire. Know Your Place now covers an estimated 4360 square miles and over the past two months these new counties have already seen 133 public contributions already appearing on the map. We hope you look forward to seeing how these grow over time, as much as we do.

We now have our sights on mapping North Somerset and Somerset after Christmas in Spring 2017. We will be adding historic map layers for Tithes, Enclosures and other historic maps and historic environment data.


Volunteers Behind the Scenes

Our volunteers have been working hard to prepare historic maps to be added onto Know Your Place. We estimate that volunteers have given an enormous 3,412 (and a half!) hours of work since the beginning of the project. In this time we have cropped 1234 historic map images and georeferenced 778 of these.

Volunteers continue to prepare material digitised from partner archives for tithe, enclosure and other basemap layers. These additional map layers will start appearing on Know Your Place in Spring 2017.


Our Project and Team Grow

We are delighted that our funders at the Heritage Lottery Fund have granted an extension to the project timescale until June 2017, allowing us an extra six months within which to complete our work and promote Know Your Place more widely.

The staff team is growing too. We are recruiting an additional Assistant Project Officer to join our team in the New Year for the final phase of the project. They will help develop our learning materials and programme of community events during 2017. The application deadline was this Wednesday 14th December and we will report on the outcome in the New Year.


Exhibition Goes on Tour

The Know Your Place exhibition is available in person and online.

The Know Your Place exhibition is available in person and online.


Our Exhibition is now on display in its first four fantastic venues in Clifton, Taunton, Swindon and Bath. It will be moving on in early January to our next wonderful venues in Bradley Stoke, Weston-Super-Mare, Stroud and Soudley, so do take time to visit if you can. It will be on display there until early March, before moving to our third touring locations in Salisbury, Radstock, Wells and Chippenham. Further details can be found here.


“That new website, pretty amazing!” 

We are proud to have received some really constructive and positive feedback from a range of sources during the past year about the expansion of Know Your Place.

In our user survey in South Gloucestershire this summer:

  • 72% of users reported that since using KYP they have a deeper knowledge of their local area;
  • 70% feel proud of / and more connected to their local heritage as a result.
Visitor comments about finding their area on Know Your Place, at Discover Filton.

Visitor comments about finding their area on Know Your Place, at Discover Filton.


Here are a few other comments people have shared with us:

“The best local history website just got better” – Review of Know Your Place in the Journal of the Bristol & Avon Family History Society, June 2016.

“KYP is a great and fascinating tool which provides easy access to history” – Visitor comment from Discover Filton event, October 2016.

“With a sweep of your mouse you can watch the bypass disappear and estates transform into fields.” Keynsham Voice, November 2016.

“A friend mentioned how useful they found the KYP map for researching their house in the village.  He asked me to send a special thank-you to you and your team:”That new website, pretty amazing!”Audience feedback about KYP Wiltshire, shared in November 2016.

“Family historians think this is a wonderful thing to use” – Feedback from a family history society at Partners’ meeting, December 2016.

“Know Your Place is a cornerstone of what we do in schools” – Feedback from Heritage Schools project, Historic England at Partners’ meeting, December 2016.


New Year, New resolutions? Help us grow Know Your Place!

Have you thought about putting your heritage on the map? Adding records onto Know Your Place is easy and anyone can do it.

From family history research to local street snaps, we want to encourage all interested individuals, groups and organisations to share your information on Know Your Place.

We have written some useful information and links to help you get started and will be running events in Spring 2017 to encourage everyone to have a go.

So why not make adding to Know Your Place your New Year’s resolution and help Know Your Place grow into a rich heritage resource for all.


Christmas Wishes

Festive display of Christmas Cards from the collections at Bath Central Library.

Festive display of Christmas Cards from the collections at Bath Central Library.


Finally, a word of thanks. We could not have achieved all of this without the help of our dedicated team of project staff, volunteers, partners and supporters. Thank you to everyone who has contributed to this year’s achievements.

There’s an exciting year ahead of us and we’re looking forward to continuing the hard work. We hope you will join us for the rest of the journey.

With Christmas greetings from all the team at Know Your Place – West of England.