a grey laser scan of a building with a multicoloured section over two floors

March 16, 2018, by Erin Snyder

Digital Arts: Laser Scanning Reveals Hidden Histories

A View from the Arts is running a series on digital projects in the Faculty of Arts, in advance of the Digital Research Week, which will run from the 23rd to the 27th of April, 2018.

Guest blog by Chris King


Concealed inside a key building in the Gunpowder Plot of 1605, researchers from The University of Nottingham have used the latest scanning technology to reveal in 3D a hiding-hole used by 17th-Century Catholic priests escaping religious persecution.

Coughton Court in Warwickshire sits at the heart of an important group of Catholic country houses, and it has a secret priest-hole hidden in a turret of the main gatehouse, concealed between the floor levels. Researchers first visited the house in 2015 to make a laser scan of the double-level priest hole with the aim of digitally reproducing its location in a computer model.

In 2016 the team returned, thanks to generous funding from The National Trust, to complete a scan of the entire mansion, inside and out, in situ in its grounds. On completion, the comprehensive 3D model aims to help experts visualise more clearly how the priest-hole has been hidden within the structure, and to allow visitors to explore this hidden space online even if they cannot physically access it.

Researchers: Dr Chris King (School of Humanities); Dr Sean Ince and Dr Lukasz Bonenberg (Nottingham Geospatial Institute, School of Engineering)

Posted in Digital Arts