And what an exciting year it’s been!
We want to celebrate our achievements and share the projects we’ve been working hard on over the past year, so what better way than with the launch of our brand new Spectrum Heritage blog.
We’ve kicked it off with a round-up of some of the conservation and digital heritage work we’ve done all around Scotland, all the way from Edinburgh to Inverness.
It’s been quite a journey so far, and we’re excited to share both our past and upcoming projects, events and tutorials with you through our blog.
So, without further ado – here’s a small selection of the great projects and people we’ve had the privilege of working with this year.
Stone conservation – McEwan Hall at the University of Edinburgh
This stunning 19th century graduation hall at the University of Edinburgh needed conservation work to the interior stonework. And we were lucky enough to take in this project and work inside the beautiful main hall where all the ceremonies still take place to this day.
Later on in summer, we also returned to work on the 19th century lantern in Bristo Square, located just outside McEwan Hall. We carried out a series of trials to assess what was needed and came up with an accurate conservation assessment report, after which we were commissioned to do some minor repairs to the stonework.
Conservation & digitisation – Pictish stones, Inverurie
With most Pictish stones now in museums, we had the chance to both conserve and create 3D models of four incredible stones in Inverurie, Aberdeenshire, which after conservation, will remain within Inverurie Churchyard.
Firstly, we worked very carefully to conserve these intricate Pictish symbol stones – it’s thought that they date from between the 6th and 9th century – and we scanned them to create an accurate 3D model. This digital documentation has helped to see the stones and their carvings more clearly and even identify areas that needed conservation.
Do you want to know more about this Pictish stones? Click here!
Conservation assessment – Aigas Bridge, Inverness
Located deep in Aigas Community Forest is Aigas Bridge, a wonderful sandstone arch stretching across the burn. We were commissioned by Archaeology Scotland to survey the bridge and write a conservation assessment report that analysed the various alterations to the structure as well as our recommendations for its future conservation.
Digitisation – RAE PROJECT with Historic Environment Scotland
The RAE project took us all around Scotland, visiting Historic Environment Scotland’s (HES) collection of artefacts. We were commissioned to digitise 50 objects from their extensive collection, located at different historic properties.
So, we travelled from place to place, discovering wonderful sites in the process of our work. We digitally documented each artefact, using photogrammetry to convert a series of photographs into 3D models: low resolution versions for sharing online, and high resolution versions for 3D printing, research and archiving.
The HES Digital Documentation team, based in the Engine Shed, are doing an incredible effort to digitise all the properties and the vast collection of artefacts in their care. If you want to explore some of their collection in 3D, visit their Sketchfab page!
Community engagement & digitisation – All Hallows project
A large part of our work is providing training on digital documentation and conservation to both professionals and local communities. So, for the All Hallows project we were invited to teach a series of workshops to adults and primary and secondary school children in Inchinnan.
We focused the workshops on how to use RTI (Reflectance Transformation Imaging) and SFM (Structure from Motion), to then put it all into practice on their All Hallow site.
We also documented two groups of stones, the Templar stones and the Ancient stones, located within the Inchinnan church to try and understand the carvings, which had been badly eroded over time. With the help of photogrammetry and RTI we were able to show carvings that were invisible to the naked eye – and the results were truly astonishing.
What’s more, using historic photographs and floor plans we were then able to reconstruct a 3D model of All Hallows Church, which was demolished in the 1960s to make way for Glasgow Airport. This 3D model of the building gave us a real glimpse into what the church used to look like.
Conservation – Jubilee Gates, Victoria Park
Unfortunately, the 1887 Jubilee Gates – originally made by Walter MacFarlane’s Saracen Foundry – in Victoria Park, Glasgow had recently been vandalised, so we were commissioned by Glasgow City Council to carry out some repairs and maintenance work to the gilding and bring them back to their former colourful glory.
Photogrammetry training – Edinburgh Digitisation Working Group
In July, we were invited to give a workshop to archival and museum professionals at the Edinburgh University Library. The day was organised and funded by Historic Environment Scotland, National Galleries of Scotland and Edinburgh University Library. with guest presentations from James Hepher and Andreas Buchholz – Historic Environment Scotland – , Fiona Mowat – Edinburgh University – , and Matthew Vincent – Rekrei. It was an honour to share the day with this group, as well as learn from their experiences and discover new applications to digital documentation.
Community workshop – graveyard conservation at Luss
The graveyard surrounding Luss Parish Church is part of a conservation area and is a Scheduled Monument, so it’s really important to keep a maintenance plan that ensures its preservation.
For that reason we invited by Historic Environment Scotland and Loch Lomond Trust to deliver a workshop at the church itself to train members of the community on putting a Conservation Maintenance Plan into practice and keeping up with the day to day preservation work needed.
For the first time, we had the pleasure to work with Susan Buckham of Kirkyard Consulting, to analyse the state of some gravestones in Dalzell Estate Graveyard that date back to between the 18th and 20th centuries.
We have been also working in partnership with Archaeology Scotland and Clyde and Avon Valley to bring you a series of workshops on RTI on the 7th and 8th October.
You’ll find more information on location and times here.
As you can see, it’s been a very busy year for Spectrum Heritage and we’ve got a lot more to come over the next few months (and years!).
We’ll keep you up to date with our latest projects, findings, events and workshops right here on the blog.
And as spaces at our events and workshops often fill up fast, make sure you sign-up to our newsletter and be the first to know.
Want to keep digging?