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Nottingham’s Ducking Stool and Market Wall have been reconstructed for an AR app

An augmented reality (AR) programme has reconstructed a medieval wall that has separated Nottingham’s Old Market Square for a span of over 700 years.

The ancient Market Wall, which stood from 1068 to 1727, has been reconstructed as a digital asset by Nottingham Trent University and the Confetti Institute of Creative Technologies. It will enable visitors to the historic square to take a close look at how the wall originally appeared and interact with it realistically.

According to existing documents, the Market Wall, which was created to distinguish the south-western French Norman borough and the north-eastern Anglo-Saxon borough, was built at ‘breast height.’

Laws were different for the boroughs, along with their administrations, and sheriffs whilst the wall functioned as a physical barrier between the two locations, Interestingly. it had multiple holes through which pedestrians could easily traverse.

The mobile application featuring this AR experience will be made available for Android smartphones exclusively as a download, and features a recreation of a Ducking Stool beside the water fountains. Also included is a digital rendition of the historic Malt Cross, situated around the edge of the erstwhile Debenhams building.

The Malt Cross was generally used for official announcements. In contrast, the Ducking Stool was an installation for carrying out punishments, primarily for women who had children out of wedlock or engaged in illicit activities. The nature of the punishments was quite gruesome, in line with the standards and norms of the middle ages.

A few accounts claim that the wall was erected as a looted stone wall using stones from different sources, however, an archaeological expedition conducted before the re-pavement of the plaza recently uncovered vestiges of a brick wall, most likely a repaired or rebuilt piece of the stone wall. This data was used to create the augmented reality version.

Dr Andrea Moneta, lead investigator and specialist in digital scenography at Nottingham School of Art & Design, stated the Market Wall is an intriguing and lesser-known landmark that prominently represents the history of Nottingham. It is a significant site as a lot of documents that had accounts of the city’s history were consumed by fire a long time ago.

This application will let users discover everything about the Market Wall, the Malt Cross, and the Ducking Stool, as well as Nottingham’s existence as a dual city for many centuries. It was a place where the Anglo-Saxons and the French lived alongside each other’s communities.

She said that the team of developers intend to expand on this AR project and conduct even more research to facilitate the establishment of what can fundamentally be described as an immortalised and imperishable virtual museum containing a lot of augmented reality features. This venture will work towards upholding the colourful past and legacy of Nottingham to people everywhere.

The team of researchers are eager to broaden their investigation in order to make the programme compatible with iOS devices.

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