Late Medieval Window in Staffordshire – Laser Scanning and Reconstruction

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Recreating any lost architecture requires careful consideration and checking once it has been completed. Steffan and Asem have been doing this by carrying out further work on the Tixall Window for our AHRC Connected Community, Community Heritage Partners The Haywood Society in Great Haywood in Staffordshire. The Tixall window was part of a large Tudor mansion which has now completely vanished apart from the gate lodge and the much later stables which have been converted into residential accommodation. Mary Queen of Scots was detained at Old Tixall Hall for about two weeks in August 1586 during the Babington Plot. She was transferred there in order to search her rooms at Chartley and seize her papers. It is interesting to speculate that Mary Queen of Scots may have looked out though this window during this, one of the most difficult and tragic moments of her life. She was executed six months later on the 8 February 1587. The stones from the window were reused in a later chapel and then in a garden structure before being saved by the Haywood Society from being reduced to road-fill material.

Stone Scan pair (Small)

Steffan and Asem have been laser scanning some of the remaining loose stones of the Tudor Bay window in order to ensure that they are accurately represented in the digital reconstruction and in order to have a permanent 3D record of their detailed size and shape for archiving for future reference. Although there are only a few of the stones from this magnificent structure still in existence, contemporary etchings and water-colours from the 17th and 18th centuries show the window fully complete and so allow us to locate the stones with a high degree of accuracy and show how the whole window would have looked. The work the Digital Building Heritage Group have been doing on this project is supporting the Haywood Society in producing a book about Old Tixall Hall which is due to be published in 2014. The 3D digital modeling and visualisation significantly contributes to the understanding of the history of this lost piece of Tudor architecture and its wider cultural and historical context as well as supporting and promoting community engagement and interest in it.

Stone Scan 1 small

About Douglas Cawthorne

Reader in Digital Heritage at De Montfort University.
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