Hollar’s Hull in 3D: Part I

I’m feeling inspired by the recent ‘Archives in 3D’ workshops (which I facilitated in my work capacity as Archives Assistant at the East Riding Archives) where we modelled Hull’s Beverley Gate and King Henry VIII’s Hull Castle using Blender3D and material held in collections at the East Riding Archives. Instead of leaving my Hull Castle model at the WIP stage, I thought I would develop my model further by placing it within its historical context surrounded by buildings of its period and (hopefully) with a textured finish!

Hollar Hull, view of HulL Castle
Hollar’s view of King Henry VIII’s Hull Castle

Wenceslaus Hollar’s plan and view of Hull, c.1642, is one of the most well-known historical images of the city and features King Henry VIII’s Hull Castle, the four main gatehouses and significant other locations such as Suffolk Palace and Hull Holy Trinity Church. Using Hollar’s representation, which has been reprinted in various historical publications available at several archive services, my next project is to recreate Hollar’s view of the city piece-by-piece beginning with the top section that includes Hull Castle.

Here are a few screenshots of my progress so far:

Work in progress, Hollar's Hull, Hannah Rice in Blender
WIP model of Hollar’s Hull by Hannah Rice

In addition to the architectural features of the fortifications I will also model some ships, canons and other elements included within Hollar’s representation, which will be new for me having previously only worked with buildings! As you can see, there is a long way to go as I’m starting off with simple geometry and will add more detail later. My next step will be to model more varieties of buildings and ships from the Civil War period and populate the city and river areas, all using Hollar’s view as inspiration.

Work in progress, Hollar's Hull, Hannah Rice in Blender

Work in progress, Hollar's Hull, Hannah Rice in Blender
WIP models by Hannah Rice
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3D Model: St Michael’s Chapel, Roche Rock

Cornwall is my 2nd home from home and in between archive visits and surfing last summer I visited the Chapel of St Michael, at Roche Rock, located near Bodmin and St Austell. Alongside Tintagel and St Michael’s Mount, the chapel is now on my list of top favourite locations.

Hannah Rice at St Michael's Chapel, Roche Rock, Cornwall
Me standing at the chapel entrance, 2016.

The romantic ruin of St Michael’s Chapel is perched on top of the rock and there have been many speculations as to why the chapel was built in its high-up location, including a lookout point, a place of worship for pilgrims travelling south and a hermitage.
The medieval chapel, constucted of granite, was licensed in 1409 and appears built into the schorl rock formation consisting of a 3-tiered structure with the flooring removed. It is a listed building, see Historic England’s listing.

Model created in Blender (personal project) using polygon modelling and my own photographs as reference.

St Michael's Chapel, Roche Rock, Cornwall 3D model by Hannah Rice
View of St Michael’s Chapel, Roche Rock. Image copyright: Hannah Rice

The North Bar, Beverley in 3D

The North Bar (Beverley, East Riding of Yorkshire, UK) is a Grade 1 listed, medieval gatehouse or “Bar”. The Bar was constructed in 1409 from locally sourced red brick and features ribbed vaulting and a buttressed façade. The north façade features the coat of arms of the Warton family.

The buildings adjoining the North Bar are intentionally left untextured to distinguish the medieval gatehouse from its surroundings, including the Bar House (17th-century) on the right-hand side of the North view (the default view for this model) . This model was created using polygon modelling in Blender.

Visualising Hull’s Beverley Gate- Part 2

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…

Beverley Gate in Hull digital 3d model by Hannah Rice
Beverley Gate in 1642 digital interpretation. Copyright: Hannah Rice
Beverley Gate in Hull, 1642, digital 3d model by Hannah Rice
Plain model of Beverley Gate scene. Copyright: Hannah Rice

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 in 1642 Hull digital interpretation 3d by Hannah Rice
Where Charles I was refused entry into Hull. Copyright: Hannah Rice
Beverley Gate (Hull) in 1642 3d model by Hannah Rice,
Digital diorama view of Beverley Gate. Copyright: Hannah Rice

 

Visualising Hull’s Beverley Gate- Part 1

Beverley Gate (Hull), 3D work in progress by Hannah Rice
Beverley Gate (Hull), 3D work in progress by Hannah Rice

With Hull’s UK City of Culture celebrations nearing in 2017 I thought it would be fitting to digitally recreate one of the city’s most historic landmarks- Beverley Gate.

Beverley Gate Remains
Beverley Gate Remains in 2010 (Photo by Chris Coulson, Creative Commons Atribution-Share Alike 3.0 )

At present, the gate’s structural remains can be seen at the west end of Whitefriargate, Hull. For years the remains have been a much overlooked heritage asset, however thanks to a public opinion campaign and talks of regeneration the structural remains are now a designated National Monument (see Beverley Gate listing on Historic England) .

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!

New models uploaded to Sketchfab

Archives in 3D Workshop

For those interested in learning (from scratch!) how to 3D model historical buildings from architectural plans:

 

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