Stevenage mayor enjoys the views atop newly refurbished watchtower at Knebworth House
PUBLISHED: 08:22 16 September 2020 | UPDATED: 12:38 16 September 2020
Stevenage’s mayor and mayoress were treated to top-notch views atop the newly refurbished Watchman’s Tower, as part of a visit to a popular stately home.
Cllr Jim Brown, and his partner Penny Schenkel, were welcomed by the team at Knebworth House as they trialled the ‘Knebworth Watch’ application and climbed the restored Watchman’s Tower.
The mayor is an ex-officio trustee of Knebworth House Education and Preservation Trust, and was accompanied by fellow trustee David Morgan to the top of the tower, where they tested the ‘Knebworth Watch’ app.
A grant from The National Lottery Heritage Fund allowed Knebworth House to develop the interactive virtual reality app ‘Knebworth Watch’, which shows the view from the top of The Watchman’s Tower.
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Made possible by money raised by National Lottery players, and using information from the Knebworth House archive, the virtual reality app takes the user on a journey through history showing what Knebworth House and Park would have looked like in Anglo-Saxon, Norman, Tudor and Victorian times, up to the modern day.
Local company Harmony Studios, which developed the app, generously matched the National Lottery funding for the app development.
Help was also received from Year 5 students at Roebuck Academy in Stevenage who designed Saxon villages which inspired the Saxon scene within the app – with Mayor Jim Brown stating his delight that local schools were given the opportunity to get involved in the project.
On arrival, the Mayor and Mayoress enjoyed hearing from KHEPT’s Education and Outreach Officer, Katherine Dunstan, about how Knebworth House are incorporating Watchman’s Tower into new educational programmes to help extend heritage learning and engage with new audiences.
Katherine said: “I really enjoyed presenting our Watchman’s Tower educational reach programme to the Mayor and Mayoress of Stevenage. Getting schools and children involved in the project has been a really important aspect of the restoration and allowed children to develop their understanding of local history.”
Last week, Knebworth House welcomed its first local school group to the top of The Watchman’s Tower, which received great reviews from the schoolchildren.
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