Welcome to the project

This website is dedicated to our Crystal Palace Project, which investigates the role of historical reconstruction in helping audiences imagine  and engage with the past. We are particularly interested in contrasting the opportunities and effects of immersive techniques developed in the Victorian period with those afforded by today’s digital visualisations. The main element of our project is a recreation of a small section of the giant Crystal Palace built in Sydenham  in 1854: the so-called Pompeian Court was a complete life-size model of an ancient Roman house, housing a collection of copies of Roman paintings. The house and the paintings were based on the ruins preserved by the eruption of Vesuvius in the Roman town of Pompeii. It was destroyed when the Palace burnt down in 1936. Phase 1 of our project was funded by JISC and involved building a virtual 3D model of the Court in Second Life, which housed a digitised collection of the material that was in it.

Having built and trialled the model with various user groups, we have recently completed Phase 2 of the project. Supported by the University of Bristol’s Impact Development Fund, we have been concentrating on making our model more accessible and user-friendly so that we can maximise its usefulness and share the resources we have built up. Our twin focuses are the education and heritage sectors. We started by working with Chantry High School in Ipswich to create a series of learning activities for Year 10 students, working in and around the model, and have now trialled and developed those activities in several Bristol schools.  Meanwhile, in order to make the model accessible to the local community and visitors to the park we have created a video installation for the Crystal Palace Museum.

On this site you can find out about both phases of the project through the relevant web pages and track our progress through our two blogs (see links on the right). As our project is all about sharing ideas and knowledge we’re always very glad to receive any comments or feedback, so please do get in touch by leaving a comment below.

Nic and Shelley (Lucien & Gwendoline)


20 Responses to “Welcome to the project”

  1. Käsekuchen Says:

    Have you considered to installing some form of social bookmark buttons to your posts? It will be smoother for me to save such a good blog.

  2. Shelley Hales Says:


    Good point! I’ll ask Nic. Thanks for reading and many apologies for slow speed at which new blog is starting up.


  3. Max Headroom Says:

    This is great! I need a bit more time to go over everything at my leisure. I will definitely be able to give you some important feedback as this topic is very close to my heart.

  4. Pathfinder Lester Says:

    Hi Lucien,

    I was just on ReactionGrid and noticed you fly by. I saw that you were hypergridded in (your name was listed as Lucien.Kranfel @crystalpalace.metaverseworlds.com:8002). I had never heard of an opensim grid called “crystalpalace” before, so I googled around. Found this blog.

    Wow. What a great project. Are you up and running now on Opensim? I’d love to visit your grid. What’s your hypergrid address?

    Also, I bring folks on hypergrid jump tours of different grids. I’d love to bring folks to CrystalPalace. More info about my tours here: http://becunningandfulloftricks.com/hypergrid-adventurers-club/

  5. Maggie Secara Says:

    Hi guys,
    I’m disappointed! I click on Teleport Now and absolutely nothing happens! This is the first time I’ve used Second Life, so it could just be me. Any thoughts?


  6. Maggie Secara Says:

    Sorry, never mind. It was just me. Now if only I could figure out how to use this thing. sigh I’ll keep trying.

  7. Shelley Hales Says:

    Hi Maggie,

    I hope you have got the hang of it now. Give us a shout if you need any help!


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  9. thegroovyhistorian Says:

    very interesting !!!!

  10. Shelley Hales Says:

    Thanks so much. Sorry for the delay in responding!

  11. GroovyHistorian Says:

    your welcome ! perhaps check my blog out and stay groovy !

  12. Christie Romano Says:

    I love this place, I live just at the bottom of the hill where the crystal palace was. There is so little information about it on the web, its such a shame. It would be amazing to recreate it with the gardens as they were originally! in Real life and SL

  13. Shelley Hales Says:

    Be careful what you wish for! Would be interesting to know what living on the edge of the park was like when the Palace was in full swing. But, yes, it was an utterly amazing place and the urge to experience a recreation of it is almost irresistable. We continue to work on alternative ways of making the Palace experience more accessible to people. We will keep people posted. Thanks so much for leaving us a message.

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