The Lincoln Magna Carta and the Visitor Experience

Project Lead

Barry Ardley, Senior Lecturer – Department of Marketing and Tourism

Project Team

Nick Taylor, Subject Group Leader – Department of Marketing and Tourism

Miles Hedison (Student)

Project Start: September 2017

Project End: July 2018

Project Details

This live project emerged from the Business schools consultancy module, coordinated and led by Nick Taylor. Students studying a marketing related degree work alongside local organisations on an agreed marketing issue, producing an actionable report as the output. In our case, operating from a Lincoln castle management approved brief to examine visitor perceptions of the new Magna Carta exhibition and assisted by tutor supervisors, four key objectives were identified for the student to pursue. The first objective was to examine the extent to which visitors were satisfied with their experience of the new Magna carta exhibition and secondly, to see if any improvements were needed. The third objective was to establish some future research ideas. The final objective was a tutor based pedagogical one. This was to demonstrate the value of the student as producer perspective where student learning occurs primarily through engagement in real research projects. On completion of the current project which included a review of the literature on heritage marketing and the execution of a visitor survey, a report was written and a presentation made on the findings. This was completed by the student, Miles Hedison, to members of the castle management team.


the Magna Carta vault as part of the visitor attraction .
Miles Hedison and the Lincoln Castle Management

Impact & Success

The Castle management team received the report very favourably and intend to action some of the proposals. Additionally the report was condensed and developed into a refereed paper for the Academy of Marketing’s annual conference at Stirling University, 2018. The reference for the paper is:

Ardley, B. Hedison, M. Taylor, N. (2018) “The most important document for Civilisation”: Magna Carta and the heritage servicescape In: Academy of Marketing annual conference 3rd -5th July, Stirling University

 The new exhibition was found to be generally much better received by visitors than the one   it replaced in 2015, which also had been the subject of a previous report to the castle by University of Lincoln students

Findings have been disseminated to the castle management by way of the above mentioned report and verbal presentation.

front cover of the 2018 AM conference proceedings, where the paper based on the consultancy report is featured.

Further, the Academy of Marketing conference represents an international gathering of scholars so the paper has achieved a very high level of global exposure. The paper was presented orally in the arts and heritage track and it is published in the conference proceedings.

Next Steps

The plan is to develop the paper for a journal article in the near future and it is likely another survey will be completed on visitor perceptions of the changes made to the exhibition, based on our recommendations

Additional Comments

The student has been involve all the way through the project and it demonstrates the power of the student as producer perspective in at the university of Lincoln.