Project lead for our Raby project, Julie Biddesecombe-Brown. Curator at Raby Estates, gives an update on how the building survey and work around it has progressed.
Work has progressed this summer on Raby Castle’s project funded by the Castle Studies Trust to create a digital model of the 14th century Nevill stronghold.
During July, Durham University Archaeological Services’ drone scanned the castle exterior. Every nook and cranny was covered; from courtyard and tunnels, to rooftops and bartisans, relying on the skill of the pilot to navigate the hardware into some pretty tight spaces. The photographs were taken utilising a 14mm lens and 36 megapixel sensor, supported by RTK GNSS positioning to precisely document every feature of the building. The data captured will then be uploaded and processed through Agisoft Metashape Professional and output as a 3D model utilising AutoCad Map 3D.
As well as creating an outstanding record of the building as it stands today, the software will enable the project team to ‘strip back’ known later additions and ‘rebuild’ known, lost features, such as the Barbican. Throughout the summer, Raby’s dedicated volunteers have continued to research the medieval structure and to collate findings based on evidence in other related sites that will help to build the model and to ensure accuracy as far as possible. The end result will have many uses, not only in building our understanding the medieval castle but also how it intersects with later additions and how it functioned as a building. The findings will be shared with visitors in new interpretation to be introduced as part of the castle’s wider development plans.
There has never been a full archaeological survey of Raby Castle and opportunities for research have been limited in the past. This project reflects the ambitions and vision of Lord and Lady Barnard, the castle’s owners who firmly believe that it is by understanding and sharing the castle’s past that we will secure its future. We look forward to sharing our progress as the model develops.
For more information about Raby Castle visit www.raby.co.uk