AR App Brings Pieces of Nottingham’s History to Life

Words: Charlotte Tomlinson
Tuesday 12 July 2022
reading time: min, words

Experience what life would have been like back in the day with a new app from Nottingham Trent University...


A new app created by Nottingham Trent University and Confetti Institute of Creative Technologies promises to showcase the history of Old Market Square like never before - through the power of augmented reality.

With the aim of bringing our iconic city closer to its unique and interesting past, the app is able to digitally recreate lost pieces of Nottingham’s history so everyone can see what the Square looked like in Anglo-Saxon times.

The Market Wall was reportedly at ‘breast height’ when it stood for over 600 years between 1068 and 1727, and provided a border between the French Norman borough on the south-west against the Anglo-Saxons on the north-east. The opposite sides had different laws and ways of life, and therefore had to be physically separated. 

Principal Investigator Dr Andrea Moneta from the Nottingham School of Art & Design said: “We hope to build on this plot project and develop the research for the creation of a ‘city museum of intangible heritage’ featuring various other forms of augmented reality which bring Nottingham’s rich history to life.”

Other pieces that the AR spotlights is a reconstruction of the older Malt Cross, which stood beside the Debenhams building and was used for public announcements, and also the Ducking Stool, an instrument used for punishment via public humiliation - those being shamed were mainly women who had illegitimate children or worked in prostitution, and they were immersed in dirty water continuously.

Currently, the immersive app is only available to download on Android but researchers are working on expanding the service to iOS devices. 

Robert Dixon, Interim Chief Executive of Visit Nottinghamshire, explained how great it is to see the university help showcase the city’s fascinating history, saying: “The new technology has the potential to enhance visitor experience and help locals with a keen interest in history.”

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