Viewers will be able to peer into English Heritage palaces, explore castle ruins and admire historic ceilings in detail without leaving the comfort of their own homes through a new partnership between the charity and Google Arts and Culture.
The website will open up 29 English Heritage properties – the first time that Google has worked with an arts institution across so many sites – including stately homes, castles, prehistoric sites and 19th-century industrial buildings.
Launched in 2011, Google Arts and Culture is an online platform that offers visitors free virtual tours of collections from partner galleries and museums, and high-resolution images of artwork and artefacts.
Among the English Heritage sites included are the narrow corridors and workrooms of the Victorian silver factory JW Evans, in the Jewellery Quarter of Birmingham. The site is normally open to the public only for pre-booked guided tours because the cramped spaces are piled to the ceilings with old tools, machinery and stock.
Visitors will also be able to view the ornate ceilings of Kenwood House in London and Bolsover Castle in Derbyshire, which have been documented in ultra-high definition for the first time, revealing details invisible to the casual observer.
Among the paintings recorded is a vast canvas of the Battle of Hastings, painted in 1820, which is usually not open to the public in the private school that occupies part of the old Battle Abbey buildings on the site of the battle.
English Heritage’s own stores are also covered – a collection of more than 160,000 objects housed in the grounds of Wrest Park in Bedfordshire, ranging from ancient pottery to 18th-century staircases.
Source: The Guardian