HLF backs Battle of Waterloo website

HLF backs Battle of Waterloo website

Painting depicting Attack on the British Squares by French Calvary, Battle of Waterloo, 1815 by Denis Dighton

Yet despite heralding almost a century of peace on the continent, the significance of this battle is little remembered or understood. Thanks to a grant of £96,300 from the HLF, a new project will inspire greater awareness of this fiercely fought and narrowly-won battle and create a lasting legacy of the conflict and its impact. The Waterloo 200 Digital Legacy Project will provide an online focus for the UK’s 2015 Battle of Waterloo bicentenary commemorations.

Peter Snow, historian and broadcast says: “No other single battle in British history has captivated so many people and provoked such intense discussion. Waterloo brought a decisive end to a quarter century of warfare at a level unparalleled since the barbarian invasion a thousand years earlier. It set the seal on a balance of power in Europe that was to give the continent a century of relative calm. The battle itself prompts more controversy and fascination than almost any other in world history. It is a magnificent step forward that the HLF has provided the resources to help commemorate Waterloo on the scale it deserves.” 

Developed by Waterloo 200 (the umbrella organisation approved by the British Government to oversee the celebration of the 200th anniversary of the battle), the project will be delivered in partnership with the National Army Museum and Culture24. The three organisations are all committed to paying tribute to this landmark anniversary and will be bringing together their shared expertise to engage people across the UK in marking this significant event in the nation’s cultural heritage.
The Waterloo 200 Digital Legacy Project will create an online resource that will enable people of all ages and backgrounds to discover more about history of this battle and the people involved. It will offer a range of educational resources for both formal and informal learners.
The website will bring together 200 iconic artefacts associated with the battle. Drawn from both private and public collections, some have never before been on public display. Along with contemporary accounts, anecdotes and articles by eminent historians, these objects will help people explore the very personal stories behind the momentous event.
For those wanting to take part in commemoration activities during the bicentenary year, the site will also host listings for public events and exhibitions taking place across the UK. It will also provide, on an ongoing basis, a directory of all UK Waterloo-related heritage venues and museum collections. 

Major General Sir Evelyn Webb-Carter, the Chairman of Waterloo 200 said: “We are absolutely delighted by this award from the HLF as it will make it possible for a dream to come true. Waterloo was a defining moment in European History and it’s important that more people recognise this. This dynamic resource will be a valuable and easily accessible aid to teachers, students and the public alike so that more about the battle and the people who fought in it, is understood.”
Sue Bowers, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund London, said: “We are delighted to support this project that will create a definitive online source of information about the Battle and its legacy. It will be of immense value to academics, teachers, historians and museum professionals as well as the general public both in understanding the conflict and marking its bicentennial.” 
Janice Murray, Director General of the National Army Museum, said: “Waterloo was the last great battle of the Napoleonic Wars and like the First World War, its significance to our society deserves to be commemorated. At the National Army Museum we will be marking the bicentenary through a varied public programme of activities and exhibitions. This digital enterprise is one of the exciting ways in which will be sharing our extensive Collection and knowledge with people both here and abroad.”
Anra Kennedy, Content & Partnerships Director, Culture24, said: “This is a wonderful opportunity to create a resource of lasting significance on a  subject that so deserves attention. The partnership behind the project, combining historical, museological and digital expertise, will ensure this brand new collection and its rich supporting information inspire and inform audiences for years to come.”  
Notes to editors

National Army Museum
The National Army Museum explores the impact of the British Army on the story of Britain, Europe and the world; how Britain's past has helped to shape our present and our future and how the actions of a few can affect the futures of many. The National Army Museum was established by Royal Charter to tell the story of the Land Forces of the Crown wherever they were raised. Opened by the Queen in 1960, it moved to its current site in Chelsea in 1971.

Culture24 is a non-profit cultural publishing organisation supporting arts and heritage venues to reach audiences across digital platforms. We are the official cultural data provider to the BBC. We collect and share cultural data, publish websites, run the national Museums at Night campaign and lead action research projects. 

Further information
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