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Inspectors give Bantock House seal of approval

Bantock House Museum has been given the seal of approval by VisitEngland - which has rated it "excellent".

The popular Wolverhampton City Council run attraction was given a glowing report following a recent Visitor Attraction Quality Assurance Scheme inspection during which assessors concluded: "Bantock House offered the visitor an excellent experience."

Inspectors spent the day at Bantock House Museum, rating everything from the welcome they received from staff and the way the property is maintained to the quality of the displays and its catering facilities. They also assessed signage and carried out 'mystery shopper' style checks to review Bantock's customer service.

They said: "The special Agatha Christie exhibition, the interpretation of the rooms, the details of eminent citizens of the borough and their businesses and the quite superb nursery all made exploring the house great fun. Housekeeping standards are very high."

And they concluded: "It was a delightful visit - with attentive staff and a real glimpse back in time. Bantock House fully merits the award of VisitEngland's accreditation of Quality Assured Visitor Attraction."

Bantock House Museum curator Helen Steatham said: "This is our sixth assessment by VisitEngland and we have always received a very good report but I am delighted that we have achieved an 'excellent' rating this time, the highest achievable award.

"We have a wonderful team of staff and volunteers at Bantock and this is an acknowledgement of their hard work and enthusiasm."

Councillor Elias Mattu, Wolverhampton City Council's Cabinet Member for Leisure and Communities, said: "I'd like to congratulate the staff and volunteers who do such a fantastic job making Bantock House Museum a great place for all the family - I'm delighted that their efforts have been recognised by this accolade from VisitEngland."

Restored to its Edwardian glory, Bantock House is a hidden treasure set within 43 acres of parkland and surrounded by delightful formal gardens.

Originally called New Merridale Farm, it was formerly the home of railway and canal agent Thomas Bantock, who later became Mayor of Wolverhampton, and was bequeathed to the town in 1938 by his descendants.

It was a base for the local Home Guard during the Second World War before Wolverhampton Corporation turned the property into Bantock House Museum, which opened in April 1948.

Visitors can explore the history of Wolverhampton and its people in the period settings which include carved oak panelled rooms, decorative glass, tiles and period furnishings inspired by the Arts and Crafts movement. There is also a popular courtyard café serving homemade food, drinks and ice creams, while the museum shop has a range of cards, gifts and traditional children's toys.

Bantock House Museum is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 12pm to 4pm and entry is free.

  • released: Thursday 14 November, 2013