Elsecar Digital Reconstruction recognised at National Awards

A stunning digital reconstruction of the historic village of Elsecar has been highly commended at the Museums + Heritage Awards in the category of ‘Best Use of Digital’.

The announcement took place in the glittering setting of the Historic Staterooms of 8 Northumberland Avenue in London, where shortlisted nominees across 13 categories waited, with baited breath, to see who had been judged a winner.

The awards celebrated the very best in the world of museums, galleries, and cultural and heritage visitor attractions both in the UK and overseas with those shortlisted coming from all over the globe. 

The Awards, which are judged by an independent panel made up of the leading lights in the museum world, are open to all museums, galleries, archives, and cultural and heritage organisations, both digital and in-person. Entrants are from all areas of the cultural sector; from organisations that connect objects, stories, and spaces with audiences and people, as well as the individuals, companies, and organisations which support their work. Among the 18 awards at this year’s ceremony was Innovator of the YearVolunteer of the YearSustainable Project of the Year award, and the newly introduced Team of the Year award. 

Anna Preedy, Director of Museums + Heritage Awards commented: “What is particularly wonderful about the Museums + Heritage Awards is the vast and varied range of organisations represented on our shortlist – from large, national museums to small, local heritage organisations and everything in between. The Awards provide a rare opportunity to recognise and celebrate the determined, confident, and creative work of our extraordinary sector and are the ultimate stamp of approval!” 

The Victorian past of Elsecar, the model industrial village at the heart of South Yorkshire, has been brought to life through the stunning digital reconstruction and animation.

Thanks to the efforts of local volunteer historians, national experts, and the expertise of a skilled digital creator, it is now possible to experience what the village was like 140 years ago.

An international centre of iron and coal, the village was built by the aristocrats of Wentworth Woodhouse, who showed it off to visiting aristocrats and Royalty.

Cutting-edge digital technology has reimagined busy ironworks, collieries, canal boats, long-gone smoky chimneys and vividly captured street scenes. Visitors will be transported back to a time when Elsecar’s iron and coal was sent all around the world.

The model’s incredible detail and historical accuracy has inspired people through its innovative technology and the engineering excellence of a bygone age.

Other nominees for the ‘Best Use of Digital’ category included Research Centre for Museums and Galleries & National Trust, StoryFutures (winner), University of Bristol Theatre Collection, Bristol Old Vic and Zubr Curio and Mary Rose Museum Trust and Picture This Productions.

Jon Finch, Head of Culture and Visitor economy said: “The shortlist of nominees for this award shows the incredible range of work being done digitally by museums and heritage organisations.  We are delighted to have been recognised in such a prestigious award and would like to thank our team, dedicated volunteers, and funders for making this project a reality.  Thousands of hours of work have gone into the digital reconstruction making a truly breath-taking experience, reliving historic places and experiences in ways previously unimaginable before.”

Take a look at Elsecar 1880: Victorian Elsecar Revealed!