Down House Evaluation

In 2019 Bright Culture was contracted by English Heritage to undertake a summative evaluation of visitor engagement with the interpretation at Down House.

Large house with wisteria growing over it.

The objective of the evaluation was to provide English Heritage with useful data and evidence gathered through a visitor survey to inform the development and reinstatement of key areas of the garden at Down House and the telling of Darwin’s life.

The evaluation sought to understand motivations for visiting, audience knowledge of the history and stories and how visitors interact and engage, when at the site. With visitors being asked to provide feedback on specific elements of how Darwin used his home as a living laboratory.

Being a small-scale piece of evaluation & research, the agreed method for collecting data and evidence was the design and implementation of a self-completion visitor online survey, which could be completed either through web access or offline during a visit to the site. Catherine then reviewed and analysed the feedback and findings, culminating in a practical report for English Heritage.


The report has already had a positive impact at Down regarding some curatorial issues which is fantastic. It is going to be such a helpful document for our project and it is so clearly expressed, illustrated and organised. I was really impressed with the report you submitted and your clear and honest communication. I hope we can work together in the future! Thank you so very much.

Interpretation Manager   English Heritage