Above: The app will bring the ruins of Errwood Hall to life.

You have to wonder what Samuel Grimshawe would have made of the recently announced plan to create an augmented reality app for his country house, Errwood Hall!

Built in the early 1840s, the hall was demolished less than a century later in the mid 1930s. This followed the death of Samuel’s daughter, Mary. And the compulsory purchase of the Errwood Estate by Stockport Corporation to build the twin reservoirs of Fernilee and Errwood which today dominate the Goyt Valley.

The project is the brainchild of South West Peak Cultural Heritage Officer, Catherine Parker Heath (above). Catherine explained:

“Many people who visit the Goyt Valley are intrigued by the ruins of Errwood Hall. We want to raise funds to create a virtual reality app which brings to life the building, and tells the story of both the hall and the people that lived and worked here.

“The project is still very much in the planning stage, and depends on how much money we can raise. We’re going to launch the fund using the government’s ‘Big Give Christmas Challenge’, an online campaign which doubles donations made to charities between November 30th and December 7th.”

Above: This fade shows the hall in all its glory. Click the Now button (or drag the slider) to see the same scene today.

Claire Barlow is responsible for the funding campaign. She said:

“The ruins of Errwood Hall attract and intrigue visitors from far and wide. This exciting project will help the public to explore them in a new way. The original hall will emerge before their very eyes.

“The app will also be available online, allowing engagement with new and wider audiences who can’t access the ruins. And as an educational aid to engage local schoolchildren with the heritage on their doorsteps.”

Catherine is keen to get local people involved in the project:

“This will involve doing research, bringing material together, writing copy, taking video clips, carrying out visitor surveys to gauge how successful it is, and demonstrating the app once it is launched.

“If you’d like to contribute please sign up to volunteer here: MyImpactPage – South West Peak (if you’re not already a SWP volunteer) and register your interest on the Unlocking the Secrets of Errwood Hall opportunity. I’ll then be in touch early in the New Year to get the ball rolling.”

Click here for more information on Errwood Hall. And click here to view a gallery of images.

Page update#1 (5th Dec 2021):

To help publicise the Big Give campaign, Claire has posted this audio recording of a newspaper report describing a visit to Errwood Hall in 1883. (The original is on this website here). She explained:

“The excerpt is read by Robbie Carnegie. He works for the Moors for the Future Partnership and is a keen amateur actor and director. Robbie did it as a favour to us to support the TBG campaign.

Page update#2 (8th Dec 2021): Claire has just announced that they’ve successfully reached their target figure. She said:

“In just one week, over £1,500 was donated by members of the public, then matched by The Outdoor Guide Foundation’s generous pledge, giving a grand total from The Big Give Christmas Challenge of just over £2,700.

“This means that the Peak District National Park Foundation and the South West Peak Landscape Partnership can begin working with Bloc Media on the exciting project.

Watch this space!

Topic tags (click for similar posts): Augmented reality app | Errwood Hall | Heritage projects | Then & now fades