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.

PROJECT: Re-Visualising pre-1539 St Mary’s Abbey, York- Part 9

161013 abbeyIt’s been awhile since I’ve last posted as its come to the time where I need to be writing 20,000 words for my dissertation to accompany this Blender3D project!

Since my last post I have added a UV sphere as a background and mapped a sky texture to the mesh. I have also crenellated the abbey precinct- most of the hand-drawn “artist impressions” of the abbey have featured crenellated walls therefore I decided to include it on mine.

I have started to develop some of the pathways using a dirt texture and used the “shrink wrap” modifier to make the mesh mould to the shape of the ground as the ground isn’t completely flat or at a level height (if anyone knows an easier way please let me know! 🙂 )

I still need to model more of the other buildings in the abbey precinct once I’ve finished researching them. I also need to finish modelling windows and doorways on the buildings already in the model as a lot of the buildings still have blank façades. I’m hoping to create more varieties of foliage too, though the architecture has priority.

PROJECT: Re-Visualising pre-1539 St Mary’s Abbey, York- Part 8

St Marys Abbey York by Hannah RiceJust a little update! After creating the medieval form of the Hospitium (see previous post) I imported the model into my main abbey file and used the same model, but slightly amended, to form the length of buildings that lay parallel to the River Ouse.

From the screenshot (a very murky day!) you can also see the beginnings of the gatehouse and St Olave’s Church to the left of the abbey. I have also started planting some trees (the sapling tool is very handy for this) and hope to populate the grounds with a lot more foliage as I finish constructing the other buildings.

PROJECT: Re-Visualising pre-1539 St Mary’s Abbey, York- Part 7

I’m taking a slight break from modelling the main St Mary’s Abbey by re-creating the Hospitium, one of the buildings in the abbey grounds (York Museum Gardens, UK). According to the History of York site “It’s not known for sure what it was originally used for, the official listing of the building suggests that it was a place for visitors to stay”.

I recreated the basic structure of the current Hospitium form in Blender using plans obtained from the University of York and researched what it would have looked like pre-Dissolution alongside the abbey. It looks slightly different to today, with a smaller upper storey.

Here is a screenshot of my progress so far!


and here my own winter photo of what the Hospitium looks like currently:

hospitium photoAs you can see I need to model what can be seen today as the two arches and research what these buildings would have been in the 15th century. I also need to research the upper doorway on the Hospitium- would this have led to another attached building or was this added at a much later date and should therefore be edited out of my model?

Once I finish this model I will then import into my main abbey model file!

Divinity’s Reach in Guild Wars 2- Amazing!

As an architectural historian who also plays computer games, I am very excited about Guild Wars 2 which comes out on early release in six days! I was struck by the amazing concept art, particularly this one of Divinity’s Reach (below). 


I love the fusion between the vernacular medieval and the fortifications to create a nostalgic and impressive atmosphere. The only real-life example I can think of is Mont Saint-Michel of France with its fortifications and abbey. I’m hoping to play the technologically advanced Asura race, but this environment is tempting for another play through as a human also! 🙂


Bones, Baguettes and a lot of Architecture!

Just arrived back from a “Royal Spaces in Medieval Europe” study trip to Paris! I had a lovely time (I tried escargot and it was a better experience than I had originally thought it would be!) and here are some photographs from the trip to celebrate my last term of my undergraduate degree:

  • Day 1: Baguette, Cheese and Wine on the viaduct (trying to be french!)
  • Day 2: Sainte-Chapelle and the Notre-Dame
  • Day 3: Cluny Museum and Saint-Denis Basilica
  • Day 4: Pere-Lachaise Cemetary

(above the Sainte-Chapelle, private chapel of King Louis IX of France to store his Passion relics- amazingly beautiful, makes you feel like a bug in a jar made out of stained-glass!)

(above, St-Denis holding his head on the facade of Notre Dame!)

(above, the interior of the Notre Dame during a two-hour mass for the veneration of the Passion relics)

(above, the original jamb statues from the Notre-Dame, now in the Cluny Museum)

(above, Saint-Denis Basilica, the royal necropolis!)

(above and below, the world-famous Pere-Lachaise Cemetary)