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penicuik house


Our clients for this project were DigIt! 2015, The Scottish Civic Trust and The Society of Antiquaries of Scotland.  The brief was to find innovative ways of engaging new audiences in the local history and heritage of Scotland as part of the celebration marking the 25th National of Doors Open Day.


 In particular, the remit was  to:

  • Raise awareness of the significance of local heritage sites in Scotland among wider audiences

  • Inspire more young people to take an interest in their  local heritage

  • To use Penicuik House as a pilot for trialling new tools for engaging the public 


After much discussion with the stakeholders, we agreed that we would rebuild Penicuik House in Minecraft. Our researchers and builders worked carefully to ensure the 1760's neo-palladian architecture was accurately reconstructed on a 1:1 scale from historic plans.  We used plans and photographs to ensure inside the house was decorated using textures and fittings that represented the decor of the day as closely as possible. 

The narrative embedded in the map was the great fire of 1899 that consumed a great deal of the original structure and many of the rare antiquaries from the house itself.  This interactive learning resource enables learners to participate in this event as by-standers watching the great fire, and exploring the ruined remains afterwards.  You can read more about the BBC's coverage of the build here, or download the map below.

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