Sat-nav guides launched at Penrhyn Castle
Space satellites are the latest weapon being used in the fight to boost interest in local history.
The National Trust have launched a £4,000 project which will see electronic tours beamed directly onto the mobile phones of visitors to the 19th century Penrhyn Castle, near Bangor.
The innovative scheme, dubbed the e-Penrhyn project, is the first of its kind in Wales and is being launched in a bid to encourage media savvy teens to take an interest in history.
Dan Prescott, of the castle’s digital media team, said: “The idea is you will be able to download a tour onto your phone, then the satellite navigation system can direct you to those places of interest.
“At certain points on the tour, a video or audio piece will automatically appear on your phone to give you more information about that place or artefact.
“If people don’t have a compatible mobile phone, or would rather follow the tour on a larger screen, we will have A4 sized devices available at reception.”
Penrhyn bosses’ aim is to create four e-tours of the castle – two indoors and two outdoors – each following a specific theme, such as wildlife, art or a specific character from the castle’s history.
Attractions the tours will help visitors to the neo-Norman structure in Llandygai learn more about will include a one-ton slate bed made for Queen Victoria and an industrial railway museum.
Mr Prescott added that the scheme would also give people the chance to get involved with the pilot project. “It will be volunteer led” he said. “They will create the content of the tours, work on the technical side and decide how the tours best serve visitors.
“We’re looking for volunteers with an interest in the castle’s history, or a technical understanding of this sort of thing – or even just a willingness to come and lend a hand.”
Wales’ Housing, Regeneration and Heritage Minister Huw Lewis said: “This project is an excellent example of old meets new, with up-to-the moment technology perfectly complimenting historical features. Innovative tools such as this are an appealing way to reach out to new audiences, especially the younger generation, and encourage them to engage in our historic environment.”
Source: Daily Post