Nottingham Castle, perched above the plain on the sandstone outcrop, is a Scheduled Monument containing a number of listedcomponents of which the Ducal Palace at Grade 1 is the largest structure. The building’s use is museum and art gallery of regional importance, and the grounds, an oasis in the city, contain archeological remnants of the castle’s past with several embedded layers of change. The Castle is currently undergoing a major refurbishment, that aims to reshape the site as an active and engaging cultural institution and hub for the future. Much of the building’s history, layered structures of different ages, medieval and 19th century additions, has never been digitally documented nor analysed. Much of this record and detail has disappeared from record therefore Nottingham Castle urgently requires historic and archaeological evaluation of its components to underline how it emerged as the centrepiece of Nottingham’s built heritage.
The research team of the Centre for Architecture, Urbanism and Global Heritage, in collaboration with Nottingham Castle Trust, Nottingham City Council and the British Geological Survey, has undertaken a research project to investigate the history of the site and its socio-cultural narratives. This includes using smart digital technologies to survey, record and virtually reconstruct the Ducal Palace and its galleries onto virtual platforms in order to engage wider audience and user groups with their collections.
Declaration: This work has taken place prior to recent renovation of the Castle and hence the virtual version of the spaces, structures and galleries of the Ducal Palace represent the old state of the building and its spaces. Hence, these are much different to the newly refurbished Ducal Palace which will open in Feb 2021.
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This is a preview and overarching vision of the project and its aims and objectives.
In collaboration with Nottingham Castle Trust and Nottingham City Council, we run a number of studies to record the extended history of the castle, its archival drawings and much-debated history.
We use d a number of techniques and innovative technology and laser scanning equipment to record at the Castle and its archaeological and structural fabric before its latest renovations and continue to add more layers of archaeology as they are discovered.
We have worked on developing the first virtual model of the Castle (pre-rennovation) with accurate recording of its main galleries and external structure. This was complemented by BGS's record of the Underground Caves, providing the first linked-up model of the Castle Above and under ground.
We have utilised a our virtual technologies and digital models of the castle to build a virtual experience of the Castle during its closure for Renovation.
Working with NCT, we organise stakeholders and public engagement events where we explore ways for future evolution of the role of the Castle and development of future user experiences.
We explored a bottom-up approach on how different stakeholders and user groups think about the future of the Castle as a museum and heritage institution in Nottingham and East Midlands.
13 February 2019
Following two years of collaboration and investigation go innovative digital solutions to record and preserve Nottingham Castle and recapture its collections and historic structure into virtual experiences, this workshop and seminar was designed to bring together Nottingham Castle stakeholders and uaergroups to look at a ground-breaking Virtual tour of the Castle's main Galleries of the Ducal Palace, whilst the actual site was not accessible to the public.
During the workshop, we have launched an experimental models of the Castle VR Environment with testing models of interactive display of gallery paintings through moving into actual digital model of the castle, as it was before the renovations.
Our Team has used detailed laser scanning of the Ducal Palace to record its historic structures, and archaeological remains to construct a coherent and accurate model of the Palace. This includes using smart digital technologies to survey, record and virtually reconstruct the Ducal Palace and its galleries onto virtual platforms in order to engage wider audience and user groups with their collections. This research was designed to develop a coherent understanding of how innovative public engagement platforms could be used to effectively engage wider user groups and the public; first during the 2-years closure of the building, and secondly through permanent public display at the museum once opened in its new shape.
We have created an experimental and interactive virtual experience of Nottingham Castle (pre-rennovation) to engage user groups and stakeholders with the galleries and sample of their collections as well as showcasing the multiple layers of analysis and visualisation, the virtual version of the castle could present.