Hampshire’s Record Office recognised as part of Jubilee celebrations

Jun 13 2022

Records Office

Hampshire’s Record Office is one of only six landmark sites across the UK to have been awarded listed status to commemorate Her Majesty’s 70 year reign. On the advice of Historic England, the building has been given Grade II listed status by the Department of Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport.

Designed by our in-house Property Services’ architect’s team, the building included trail blazing techniques to create a bespoke, specialist environment, with high ceilings and internal strong rooms to house and help preserve fragile documents recording 1,000 years of history. The building is home to both Hampshire Archives and Local Studies, and Wessex Film and Sound Archive.

Since the award-winning building’s official opening by The Queen in 1993, the lighting has been upgraded by the Property Services’ Engineering team to Light Emitting Diodes (LED), reducing maintenance costs and supporting the County Council’s carbon reduction strategy. Careful consideration was given to the lighting in the strong room and exhibition area as objects vary in their sensitivity so the ability to vary the light levels was crucial to the project’s success. The new lighting has also provided more flexible use of the space and an improved customer experience.

Record Office relighting

Senior Delivery Manager in Property Services, Colin Jackson, reflects on the project and the official opening:

“My strongest recollection of the opening of the Record Office by the Queen was the slightly surreal, almost complete silence when she and Prince Philip entered the foyer… broken only by our applause of relief once the plaque-unveiling had gone to plan. I was a young architect fresh out of university at the time and part of the design team, so a royal opening was a high benchmark for the start of my career! As a team we were proud to have created a uniquely Hampshire building, not only inspired by the city’s ancient walls but one that also contained and safeguarded the county’s history. The opening was the culmination of many late, long hours - the tribulations of the construction contract had been a steep learning-curve. And in a pre-digital era, all the drawings were ink on tracing paper, amended laboriously by me as the junior architect scratching out the changes with a razorblade - those were the days! Thirty years later and it is the same values espoused then by the County Council that have kept me committed to a career in public practice – the sense that what we do, we do well, serving the people of Hampshire as custodians of public value. It is quite a thought that back in 1993 The Queen was at retirement age and my career was just beginning. And look at her now, an inspiration for the longevity of public service – although I’m not sure I’ll still be working when I’m 96!”

Find out more about Hampshire Record Office