“Thompson’s Folly” was built in 1825 by Thomas Thompson within the grounds of his grand castellated house, Cottingham Castle near Hull. Built as a prospect tower, it stands on the highest point of the estate which at present is the grounds of Castle Hill Hospital.
Cottingham Castle was left as a derelict site after Thompson’s death in 1828 and a subsequent fire in May 1861. The folly is in the octagonal tower form featuring neo-gothic windows and is two-storeys tall. The style highly resembles Cottingham Castle itself- perhaps another future project!
I recently wrote a guest blog post for Sketchfab on my methods for recreating built heritage using archives, Blender 3D software and some heritage interpretation. Many thanks to the Sketchfab Cultural Heritage Lead Tom Flynn and the team! 🙂
Last year I was very fortunate to be invited to The National Archives (TNA) in Kew to feature in their Archives Inspire video (above), filmed by the wonderful Magneto Films.
It was a privilege to be filmed alongside the other cast who are all brilliant professionals and it was lovely to revisit TNA after spending a year as one of their Transforming Archives Trainee‘s. The Magneto team were very professional, especially as it was my 1st attempt at being in front of a rather large camera!
Archives Inspire is a four year campaign looking at new ways audiences can experience and use archives- have a look at TNA’s Chief Executive Jeff James’ blog post and the Archives Inspire pages on TNA’s website for more.
Digital is an interesting challenge for the archives sector, where records being produced are increasingly in the digital format (think from large organisation’s records to personal photographs). Over the past decade Archivists have been thinking about how to preserve digital media for accountability, evidential, cultural and research purposes. At present, digital is now becoming central to the archival profession as we hope to preserve these records and facilitate access.
I am particularly interested in the creative uses of archives, especially heritage engagement using 3D models, websites, online exhibitions and videogames. I was very honoured to be able to showcase some of my 3D work in TNA’s Archives Inspire video- you can see my North Bar (Beverley) model in the video showcased using the software Blender 3D. Very grateful that something I’ve been doing for over 5 years is being featured in such an important video.
After months of browsing other artist’s portfolios with admiration I have finally created my own ArtStation account as a platform to showcase my heritage visualisations. Since ArtStation now facilitates the embedding of 3D models from SketchFab I decided to give it a try: https://www.artstation.com/artist/archivisth 🙂
It has been a Blender-filled Easter weekend where I set myself the challenge to 3D model my own interpretation of Hull’s Beverley Gate in the 17th century- see my first post!
After many hours of tweaking settings, I’m now at the stage where I’m happy enough to share it…
There is always much room for improvement in the modelling process. As an architectural historian my focus is mainly on the building fabric, plan and style but my scenes are devoid from human population for the ‘uncanny valley’ reason. Charles I being refused entry into the city by the Hothams would provide more of a historical context to the scene but it will add many more hours of modelling and research.
The interpretation was created using archival and local studies material held at the East Riding Archives and the Hull History Centre. A publication which provided particularly helpful information was “Beverley gate, the birthplace of the English Civil War” (1990) by David Evans and Bryan Sitch, featuring a line drawing interpretation which this 3D model is mostly based on- including the Dutch architectural influence, gables and structural form of the two guard chambers.
Beverley Gate has a fascinating story and is one of high historical significance. On the 23rd April 1642, the gate was the location where Hull’s Governor, John Hotham, and his son (also named John Hotham) refused Charles I entry into the city- as a result being one of the catalystic moments of the English Civil War (and the subsequent executions of the Hotham father and son). It is a well-known story and gives the site national importance.
Using Blender, my latest visualisation of Beverley Gate will be based on both artist impressions, archival and secondary source material, held at the Hull History Centre, Hull Museums and the East Riding Archives. I’m aiming to digitally model the gate as it was in 1642- this means it will be a complete architectural structure and not the romanticised version which you can see in George Arnald’s lovely painting “Charles I Demanding Entrance at the Beverley Gate, Hull“, c1819- though I’d love to model this version too!
So far I have modelled the main gate structure, drawbridge and surrounding landscape. The next step will be texturing, finishing touches and hopefully being able to upload the model onto my Sketchfab account- more posts to follow!