Reconstructing our church through time

If you have been following our posts, you will have seen that we are intending to create 3D visualisations of how the church looked at key points in its history.  The site is now almost 1,400 years old and the church has changed dramatically over that time.  It has changed remarkably even in the last 150 years, and each generation has seen changes, some of them very substantial.

Many people are now familiar with the sophisticated techniques now available to create virtual images of buildings.  This is the sort of thing seen recently on the BBC series Invisible Cities where Dr Michael Scott of Warwick University fronted a series of programmes focusing on certain historical buildings in Cairo, Athens and Istanbul.

We believe that reconstructions of this kind are a very powerful way of communicating the history of our fantastically interesting church, and this will be virtually the only way to get an immediate understanding of the Anglo-Saxon church buried south of the current church once the excavation is over.  The remains will be too fragile to leave exposed so for their own protection, once we have studied and recorded them thoroughly, they will have to be reburied.

We will use the technique of Photogrammetry to record the archaeological site and the standing church.  The plan is to use colleagues of Gabor Thomas at the University of Reading for this.  However, we will need to buy specialist expertise to turn this survey into reconstructions, using what the remains tell us about what was once there.  For this fascinating part of the project and key project output, we have selected the Centre for the Study of Christianity and Culture , which is a commercial team based at the University of York.   You can follow the link to explore some of their other projects on-line.

This team has huge expertise and experience working with other important ecclesiastical sites throughout the UK, and we believe that they are by far the best-placed to understand the complexities of our building, and produce a world-class sequence of reconstructions of our massively important church site.  In a report commissioned for the project, Historic England has described the site as of “outstanding importance”.   John Blair, Professor of Medieval History and Archaeology at the University of Oxford has described the Anglo-Saxon church as “among the most important early Anglo-Saxon church remains ever excavated in southern England“.   We face quite a challenge for our project to measure up to this level of significance.

Working with CSCC, we intend to produce reconstructions that we believe will fully do justice to our church at Lyminge.  This work is expensive, and that is why we are seeking help to finance it, but we are confident that everyone will be amazed at the output.  Through making this work available on the internet, we will make our church even better known than it is at present, and this will underline its international significance as one of the first stone buildings built in Southern England after the end of the Roman period and a cradle of Christianity in this part of the country.

If you are keen to make these reconstructions a reality, please consider making a donation to the project.  Details are available here

Rob Baldwin, Project Manager

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