Our team is busy at Bath Abbey this week, carrying out digital surveys of the Abbey's historic floor to create exciting public displays for the brand new Discovery Centre.

The Abbey’s ledgerstones have now been successfully restored and its floor saved from collapse. The Abbey is now having to close for a few days so that the floor can be completely cleared, in order to enable Wessex Archaeology to complete a detailed survey of the completed floor.

Our team will be accurately recording the condition and layout of the thousands of floor stones using a process called photogrammetry, which involves taking a series of photos of an object from all angles, as well as Reflectance Transformation Imaging (RTI) of key ledgerstones. 

They will also carry out an aerial photogrammetric survey which involves using a UAV (drone) inside the Abbey. The 360 imagery and video captured will then be used to create a digital 3-D model for an exciting display in the new Discovery Centre and will provide content for our education and learning programmes, including a virtual reality (VR) tour.

Child using VR headset

Nathan Ward, Footprint Project Director, said:

“We are pleased to be working in partnership with Wessex Archaeology whose work is essential in helping us to develop exciting visuals for our interpretation and learning programme for our visitors, local community groups and schools. We are grateful to the team of archaeologists for carrying out this detailed, methodical and highly technical piece of work, and are happy to support them by ensuring there will be no interruptions, in terms of timing and in the space.”

Damien Campbell-Bell, Geomatics & BIM Manager, from Wessex Archaeology said:

“We are very excited to be working with the Abbey on this project. It really is a once in a lifetime opportunity to record the Abbey without any obstructions. We can’t wait to get the results of this survey and our ongoing work with data from the Footprint Project into the hands of the public so that everyone can experience the history of the Abbey first-hand.”

From Monday 8 March to Thursday 11 March (inclusive), the Abbey will be closed. However it will reopen on Friday 12 March, 12-2pm for private prayer and individual reflection.


Photogrammetry at Bath Abbey

Bath Abbey in 3D!

Throughout our work at Bath Abbey, we have used photogrammetry to record all excavated areas digitally, producing one of the most extensive archaeological recordings ever created in 3D.

You can explore the five key sites here!