AHRC Success – Full Steam Ahead on Heritage Projects

What we've got to go on (small)

A 19th century engraving of the bay window at Tixall Hall, Staffordshire – the stones in red are all that survive.

The Digital Building Heritage group has been granted a substantial award by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) as Follow on Funding to assist eleven of our Community Heritage Partners with their Heritage Lottery Fund “All Our Stories” projects. This welcome news means that a diverse range of historic buildings, structures and monuments will be digitally re-created over the next twelve months with these groups to further their organizational aims and promote the care and interpretation of their historic buildings. We are particularly pleased that the AHRC granted the Digital Building heritage Group the full amount requested. The very quick start to this project – it begins next week – means that the DBH’s offices are a hive of activity with our researchers gearing up for the increased volume of work which will be coming in. De Montfort University is strongly supporting this and related research in Digital Heritage as part of its wider and well established mission to engage with the wider community, cross traditional boundaries, enhance the quality of its programmes and serve the needs of society in a transformational way. The award from the AHRC is a clear outcome-focused research partnership which aligns with these aims and promises to be hugely interesting from a research point of view, both with the buildings themselves and with the technology we will be using to visualize and explain them. Just as a taste of what’s in store, the picture shows one of the few contemporary illustrations of one of the reconstructions the DBH will be creating, a beautiful, five-sided gothic bay window, the main feature of the mid 16th century Tixall Hall. This survived in a partially ruined form until the mid-1800’s, when it disappeared from the record. The Project for the Haywood Society is to produce a 3D digital virtual reconstruction of the window based on recently discovered parts of the original. This reconstruction will then be used for relating the story of its full, chequered history to the local communities for which it has it has long had historical, cultural and religious significance. This is just one of the eleven projects that the DBH will be undertaking under this AHRC award, and as other projects develop we will post them here so that you can see what we are doing.

About Douglas Cawthorne

Reader in Digital Heritage at De Montfort University.
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