Costumed Interpreter

About King John’s House and Museum

King John's House and Museum is situated in the small, historic market town of Romsey, Hampshire. The site comprises a medieval house, known as King John’s House, with attached Tudor Cottage and a 19th Century building (13 Church Street) that once housed the local sporting goods and gun shop, and was home to the Moody family. The medieval House and Tudor Cottage are surrounded by the period-style King John’s Garden, which provides a beautiful backdrop to the buildings and to Miss Moody’s Tudor Tea Room.  The 19th Century building houses a small Museum. The House, Museum and Garden are managed by King John’s House and Tudor Cottage Trust. The Trust is a registered charity with the broad remit of preserving King John’s House for the use and benefit of the public, particularly in the provision of education.   Like most heritage organisations the Trust relies heavily on volunteers to deliver its charitable mission and volunteers are an important part of the community that we are building around the House and Museum. Volunteers are important ambassadors for the Trust.  

About the Costumed Interpreter Role

The buildings have a long, complex and sometimes contested history and have been used in many different ways during the site’s over 800 years of occupation. The House and Cottage are of architectural interest but the buildings have also been the homes and workplaces of many fascinating people.   The site can be difficult to interpret because it has such a rich history. Costumed interpreters therefore form an important facet of the visitor experience. Interpreters are costumed to represent people from specific periods in the history of the House and provide an insight into the lived experience of people from that time. Interpreters may welcome visitors to the House and Museum, be located in the Gardens or Buildings engaging with visitors or work with a handling collection that is used to illustrate the time period that they represent.  

About You

We are looking for confident, engaging people who are able to share an interest in history with audiences of diverse age and background.  

What Next?

If you would like to join our team or have any questions please contact Sarah Hargreaves, Deputy Manager (Volunteer Coordinator) * (01794 512200 or you could complete and return our application form. We look forward to hearing from you.   For information about our annual volunteer recruitment events where you can come and learn more about the Trust and meet the Team visit our website or follow us @kingjohnshouse on twitter and facebook.  
Role Definition and Person Profile

Role: Volunteer Costumed Interpreter

Reports to: Deputy Manager, King John’s House and Museum
As a Volunteer Costumed Interpreter you will be part of a team of volunteers bringing history alive for our visitors. Costumed interpreters may welcome visitors to the House and Museum, be located in the Garden or Buildings engaging with visitors or work with a handling collection that is used to illustrate the time period that you represent.  

What We Expect From You

  • Act as an ambassador for the Trust through a knowledge of and contribution to its work
  • Act always in the interests of the Trust
  • Engage effectively with colleagues and visitors
  • Work in a safe way when on site
  • Contribute actively to the assurance of the safety of visitors and colleagues
  • Follow relevant policies and procedures
  • Engage fully in required training and personal development
  We ask volunteers to commit a minimum of two to three hours of their time per week, although many devote more.

 What You Can Expect From King John’s House and Museum

  • Structured training and mentoring appropriate to your role
  • A handbook that explains your role and key information about the site
  • A developing, supportive community of volunteers
  • Opportunities to engage with the broad work of the House and Museum
  • Personal Development
  • Occasional social events and meeting with other volunteers
  • Some free and discounted talks and events
  • Free refreshments while working on site and discounts from the Tea Room at other times
  • A professional reference is available following a minimum of six months of engagement

Your Skills and Attributes

We are always looking for people who have the potential to develop fully into a role. However we generally look for people who:
  • Have well developed interpersonal skills
  • Are able to work effectively independently, under supervision and as part of a team
  • Are enthusiastic and well motivated
  • Can provide consistently high levels of customer service