Peak District charity's Big Give fundraising appeal to create augmented reality app for Errwood ruins

The Peak District National Park Foundation is to launch a £5,000 fundraising appeal for a new project which will help people discover the history of a Goyt Valley landmark via an augmented reality app.

Thursday, 11th November 2021, 10:53 am
Updated Thursday, 11th November 2021, 10:53 am

The initiative, Unlocking the Secrets of Errwood Hall, will bring the building’s ruins back to virtual life for the benefit of schoolchildren and other visitors.

Funds will be raised via the Big Give Christmas Challenge, an online campaign which doubles donations made to charities from November 30 to December 7.

Foundation fundraising officer Claire Barlow 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.

Dr Catherine Parker Heath among the ruins of Errwood Hall.

“The app can also be used off-site, allowing engagement with new and wider audiences who can’t access the site. It can be used, too, as an educational aid to engage local schoolchildren with the heritage on their doorsteps.”

Errwood Hall was built in the early 1840s by Samuel Grimshawe and remained in the family until the death of his granddaughter, and last surviving heir, Mary Gosselin-Grimshawe in 1930.

The estate was purchased by the Stockport Corporation as it built Errwood and Fernilee reservoirs and the hall was briefly used as a youth hostel then demolished in 1934.

Catherine Parker Heath, South West Peak cultural heritage officer, said: “It is such an enigmatic place and visitors often wonder what it is, what happened to it and what it looked like.

Errwood_Hall as it once was. (Image: Gerald Hancock Collection, goyt-valley.org.uk)

“The lack of interpretation materials on the site means that visitors often do not understand the importance of the ruins, and some are not treating the ruins with the respect they deserve.”

The foundation has already received a match-funding pledge of £1,250 from the Outdoor Guide, in memory of Buxton-based employee Liz Mackenzie, who died in June.

Managing director Gina Bradbury Fox said: “Our dear colleague and friend Liz was a prominent figure in Buxton and we are so pleased to be making this pledge in her memory to care for an area of the National Park that was close to her heart.”

Donations open at noon on Tuesday, November 30. For more details, go to https://bit.ly/3HcZSXB.

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