Mussenden Temple and Downhill Demesne is an iconic National Trust property on the northwestern coast of Northern Ireland.
Since 2013, Direct Access have been the Access Consultants for the UNESCO World Heritage city of Bath in Somerset. The historic Roman Baths in the city has over one million visitors per annum.
Bath was founded in the 1st century AD. The Roman remains, especially the Temple of Sulis Minerva and the baths complex (based around the hot springs at the heart of the Roman town of Aquae Sulis, which have remained at the heart of the City’s development ever since) are amongst the most famous and important Roman remains north of the Alps, and marked the beginning of Bath’s history as a spa town. They make one of the most significant contributions to society’s understanding and appreciation of Roman social and religious society.
In the heart of the city and below street level, there are immense challenges to facilitating access. Working closely with the Museum, step free access has been installed that do not impede on walls and models of displays have been developed to enable those with limited vision to touch and understand the significance of Bath. Audio tours are complimented by sign language transcriptions for deaf visitors.
Due to the City’s UNESCO status, in addition to UK guidance, reference was made to the UNESCO’s Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention and guidelines for the World Heritage Fund. The Smithsonian in Washington also provide useful guidance that is incorporated into audits to ensure the retention of historic structures.
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