'Climb up' Derby Cathedral tower through the power of virtual reality thanks to Mixed Realities

See the Derby Telegraph Article here


Have you always wanted to climb up Derby Cathedral tower but not had the knees or the puff to cope with the 189 steps?

Now you can make the trip up the 16th-century tower thanks to 21st-century virtual reality.

Derby-based company Mixed Realities has captured every room and all 189 steps of the tower on camera, allowing anyone across the world access to the historic church building.

The photographic scan of the tower allows users to virtually "climb" the steps in full high-definition, visit the Clock Room, Ringing Room and Carillon Room, where the mechanism that plays the bells sits. Virtual tourists will even be able to hear the clock chime 3pm along the way. To go to the Mixed Realities virtual tour, click here.

The director at Mixed Realities, said: "Derby Cathedral's magnificent tower, the second highest bell tower in the UK, is a unique and challenging space and houses a set of rooms that are key to its functionality.

"We had a vision for how we could capture these spaces in high-definition virtual reality, allowing the viewer to interact with the space on all platforms. For example, you can watch the carillon turn at midday for the oldest ring of 10 bells in the world and click through to the live webcam to watch the fascinating Derby Cathedral peregrines."

The scan has been produced as the first pilot of Derby Cathedral's £2.8 million Revealing the Derby Story project, which aims to use modern technologies to create a cathedral space "fully accessible to all".

The project will include new pews, a new floor and a fully restored organ, creating a 2,000-capacity venue for the city. There will also be "unprecedented levels" of archaeological exploration.

Rachel Morris, Derby Cathedral's Chapter Steward, said: "We get lots of inquiries from visitors wishing to climb the tower. However, we aren't able to take more than 15 people up at a time and we only open the tower once a month.

"We're aware that it is impossible for visitors with mobility issues to experience the tower, too, but now they can through this incredible scan."

An application to the Heritage Lottery Fund has been submitted to support Revealing the Derby Story. You can maker a donation to Derby Cathedral's project via its Just Giving page or via JustGiving's text donation scheme - text "CATH02 £" and your amount (eg CATH02 £10).


Joe Clark