Nottingham’s Ducking Stool and Market Wall recreated for AR app

A historic wall that divided Nottingham’s Old Market Square for 700 years has been recreated for the public to view in an augmented reality app.

Nottingham Trent University and the Confetti Institute of Creative Technologies have digitally recreated the historic market wall – which stood between 1068 and 1727 – so visitors to the square can see what it once looked like and virtually interact with it.

market wall

The market wall – which the documents say would have been “chest-high” – was built to define the French Norman borough to the south-west and the Anglo-Saxon borough to the north-east.

Malt Cross 1
malt cross

The two boroughs had different laws, sheriffs, and administrations, and although the wall physically divided the two spaces, it had multiple openings and pedestrians could pass freely between the areas.

The app – which will initially be available for download on Android devices only – includes a reproduction of a duck stool located near the existing water fountains and a reconstruction of the old Malt Cross, located at the corner of the old Debenhams building.

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The Malt Cross was historically used for public announcements, while the Ducking Stool was used to punish people – mainly women for having illegitimate children or prostitution – by tying them to a chair and immersing them in alcohol. dirty water, sometimes resulting in death.

Some resources have suggested that the wall was built as a stolen stone wall, with stones from various sources, but an archaeological dig undertaken when the square was recently repaved uncovered remains of a brick wall, probably a repaired or renewed section of stone wall. . The augmented reality version was based on this information.

Lead researcher Dr Andrea Moneta, an expert in digital scenography at the Nottingham School of Art & Design, said: ‘The Market Wall is a fascinating and lesser-known part of Nottingham’s heritage, as many of the documents which could have detailed Nottingham’s history was destroyed by fire centuries ago.

“This app will give people the opportunity to learn about the Market Wall, the Ducking Stool and the Malt Cross, and how Nottingham was actually a twin city for hundreds of years with French and Anglo-Saxons living side by side. .

“We hope to build on this pilot project and develop research for the creation of a ‘municipal museum of intangible heritage’ showcasing various other forms of augmented reality that bring Nottingham’s rich history and heritage to virtual life.”

The researchers want to expand the research to make the app compatible with iOS devices.

Yven Powell, research assistant at the Confetti Institute of Creative Technologies specializing in asset production, level production and game engines, said: “This was an exciting project to work on to relive what it would have been like to walk around and through the historic market wall. The power of new technologies such as augmented reality and virtual reality allow people to relive historical experiences in ways they could not have had before.

research assistant Gin Rai; technology specialist and head of esports at the Confetti Institute of Creative Technologies, added: “Over the past few years, we have seen an emergence of augmented and virtual reality technologies. From the start of this project, we have strived to find a great way to capture some of Nottingham’s heritage in a way that is both innovative and accessible. We look forward to continuing this research to support the growth of an augmented library of heritage sites and museums, and to show the people of Nottingham and its visitors its rich history.

The research project was funded by Nottingham Trent University’s Strategic Research Theme: World Heritage.

Robert Dixon, Acting Chief Executive of Visit Nottinghamshire, said: “It’s great to see NTU bringing Nottingham’s fascinating history to life using new augmented reality technology. Many parts of the city’s previously hidden and lost historical sites can be brought back to life, hundreds of years after they disappeared, which is amazing.

“This new technology has the potential to improve the visitor experience and help locals with a keen interest in history. It is also a testament to the phenomenal work being done at NTU as they continue to push the boundaries of what is possible.

“Visit Nottinghamshire is proud to support the project as well as academics from our two universities. Copies of Dr Moneta’s literature on the project can be found at the Nottingham Tourism and Travel Centre.

“We are incredibly lucky to see them flying our city’s flag and I can’t wait to see what other hidden parts of Nottingham’s rich history this can bring to life next.”

About Herbert L. Leonard

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