Newry, Mourne and Down District Council has formally launched a new Virtual Reality 4K model experience of the Ballykinlar History Hut which is currently located at Down County Museum. The model of the hut was developed by the Centre for Data Digitation and Analysis (CDDA) at Queen’s University Belfast and will showcase historical research, key interviews with project contributors and offer insights into the hut’s diverse and shared history.
The recreated Ballykinlar History Hut (complete with tunnel entrance) which is located at the Museum was constructed and fitted out during lockdown as part of the Council’s ‘Shared History and Culture’ programme, a project supported by the European Union’s PEACE IV Programme, managed by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB).
The immersive nature of virtual reality (VR) has allowed the content creators at Queen’s University to explore and develop innovative ways of learning and teaching ideas through interactive means. Residents and viewers of the VR experience will gain a 360° 3D view inside the Ballykinlar History Hut and enable people from around the world to tap into this rich historical resource from their mobile, PC or laptop with or without the use of VR headsets.
Chairperson of Newry, Mourne and Down District Council, Councillor Cathy Mason said, “This Virtual Reality walkthrough experience adds a valuable digital element to the Ballykinlar History Hut at Down County Museum, allowing members of the public to access the hut and all kinds of historical information that it contains, at anytime and anywhere. It is possible to move around the hut and look at everything inside it thanks to the detailed scans made by the Centre for Data Digitisation and Analysis at Queen’s University Belfast. It is now possible to spend hours exploring it from anywhere in the world.”
This innovative project will allow Down County Museum to offer a virtual tour of the Ballykinlar History Hut and share this historic exhibition worldwide. The new VR Experience will provide viewers with a self-guided exploration through a private viewing, enabling them to watch videos and access the stories of those who occupied the huts at Ballykinlar between 1914 and 1957. Access to the hut’s extensive artifacts and history becomes both immediate and more accessible regardless of the viewer’s location. To access the Ballykinlar History Hut VR Experience please logon to the following website address: https://my.matterport.com/show/?m=J8R52DDufRY
The Ballykinlar History Hut is open to the public for visits in the central courtyard at Down County Museum. The Museum is currently open Wednesday to Saturday, 10am to 4.30pm. Admission is free of charge. For further information please visit: www.facebook.com/BallykinlarHistoryHut.