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Exploring Skyscapes at Heritage Sites through AR

Unit(s) of assessment: General Engineering

Research theme: Global Heritage

School: School of Science and Technology


Heritage sites such as Creswell Crags Museum and Prehistoric Gorge have been severely impacted by COVID. It is vital to explore potential new themes and engagement options for audiences, for example the intangible heritage of the night sky or skyscape.

In this project we aim to develop an Augmented Reality App to enhance the visitor experience of the skyscape at the Creswell Crags. Through our work we will help shaping the strategic development plan currently put in place for this external provider for its post-COVID operation.

Addressing the Challenge

The project envisages, the definition of working parameters for the AR app to link sky, heritage site and audiences. This will be achieved by working with audiences and providers on site during their regular visits as well as through specific focus group activities. Then a working prototype of the AR app will be developed that should allow audiences to engage with the overall idea and capability of this tool.

Finally, a field test with audiences at Creswell using the prototype will be carried out to gather feedback on its usefulness and areas of improvement.


The project is a collaboration lead by Daniel Brown (NTU's Department of Physics and Mathematics) between NTU and Creswell Crags Museum and Prehistoric Gorge.

The work builds upon Marc Frincu’s (NTU's Department of Computer Science) experience in virtual reality and researching ancient sites by employing modern techniques. D Brown’s expertise in archaeoastronomy applied to public audience engaged in history and sky allows this to be put into context with audiences for example at Creswell, where he has already work on projects in the past.

This work will be complemented by Katharina Massing (NTU Heritage) and her knowledge in intangible heritage and supported by Charlie Pratley (NTU Heritage) who will gather feedback from audiences.

Making a Difference

Our work will shape further funding bids that will allow us to fully develop our AR app to explore the skies at Creswell Crags and tell the story of the ice age hunter at night as well as how we impact the skies now through light pollution.

The project will also aim to develop custom-made engagement tools and environments to support the development of an immersive events program including the sky and developing an innovative exhibition space.

Ultimately, we will be showcasing how the sky and its heritage can be brought into heritage sites that usually have audiences visiting during day time.