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History comes alive in the heart of Warwick with new augmented reality exhibit

A catastrophic event in Warwickshire’s history has been brought to life with the launch of an innovative exhibition at Market Hall Museum, Warwick.

Visitors can now experience an immersive augmented reality exhibit that vividly recounts the Great Fire that engulfed Warwick on 5 September 1694. People visiting the free exhibition will be transported back over 300 years to witness the dramatic events that forever changed the face of the town.

The exhibit at Warwickshire County Council’s Market Hall Museum has been developed by augmented reality (AR) specialists RiVR and uses the latest technology to present a 3D model of Warwick during the Medieval era. Using a tablet device, visitors can embark on a virtual journey through the historic town and follow the progress of the devastating fire, from where it broke out in the houses opposite the Lord Leycester’s hospital, following its path of destruction as it quickly spread across the town. Along the way they will hear gripping accounts from the people who lived through the fire, meticulously recreated from historical documents held at the Museum.

Talking about the exhibit, Councillor Heather Timms, Portfolio Holder for Environment, Climate and Culture, said: "The fire of 1694 drastically affected many people and their livelihoods, and Warwick was changed forever. Houses were rebuilt in a more modern style and in more fireproof brick and stone. This can all be seen through this innovative interactive display at Market Hall Museum.

Through the use of augmented reality technology we can bring this historical event to life and I hope that many will take the opportunity to explore this fascinating part of Warwick’s history, as well as explore all that the museum has to offer.

Show and Tell’ event on Thursday 21 March 2024, 1pm to 1.30pm, invites visitors to discover more about this significant event in Warwick’s history with a special talk and the chance to try out the new AR interactive exhibit for themselves. The event is free to attend, and you can reserve your place at in advance, or just drop in on the day.

The AR interactive experience is available for all visitors to enjoy, alongside the many other exhibits at Market Hall Museum, Warwick, open Tuesday to Saturday, 10am to 5pm, with free entry for all.

The museum has a rolling programme of case and exhibition changes. Tales from the Riverbank, an exhibition about Warwickshire’s rivers and canals opens on 22 March 2024 and is kindly sponsored by Warwick Boats and the Leam Boat Centre. Find out more about the Tales from the Riverbank exhibition.

Published: 12th January 2024