Gloucester Cathedral
Project Pilgrim

Project Pilgrim brings the Cathedral’s heritage and ongoing religious purpose to life, enabling visitors to find engaging opportunities to learn about and respond to the Cathedral in ways meaningful to them.
8 digital interactive and on-line exhibits

1x digital tour guide AR app
1x virtual tour app
4x touchscreen hubs
1x east window accessible interactive
1x what’s on welcome screen
Content management system

Digital interactives design,
production and installation
Project Pilgrim brings the Cathedral’s heritage and ongoing religious purpose to life, enabling visitors to find engaging opportunities to learn about and respond to the Cathedral in ways meaningful to them. We are very proud to have worked on this prestigious £5.95m NLHF funded project with our friends from Imagemakers – lead designers, interpretive planners and project managers of the scheme, and Cosmic Carrot, as part of Gloucester Cathedral’s ambitious 10 year programme of development.
Working with the design and client teams Wide Sky created 8 digital interactive and on-line exhibits across three key themes:
  • The construction, development and function of the Cathedral through time, exploring the spiritual significance and symbolism of the architecture and building decoration.
  • The people, from ordinary people to bishops and royalty through the ages and into the present.
  • The wider context and relationship between the Cathedral and Gloucester past, present and future.
The exhibits form part of an exceptional interpretation scheme sensitive to the Cathedral as a place of worship and of great heritage significance.

Digital Tour Guide AR App

This iOS and Android app enables visitors to explore the Cathedral using their devices. An historical timeline provides a broad sweep of the Cathedral’s 1,300-year history; a 3D interactive map and list view accesses detailed information ‘narrated’ by four characters – Pilgrim, Monk, Mason, King. Each perspective offering unique insights into the Cathedral.

Visitors collect rewards throughout their journey to unlock secret stories at key locations. They are encouraged to take photographs to personalise their 3D Map and unlock further multimedia content. Sensitive use of technology, including automatic audio mute when headphones aren’t present, ensures the tour remains sympathetic to the environment.

Augmented Reality

AR experiences enable visitors to watch Harry Potter’s first days at Hogwarts from the exact spot in the Cloister where the film sequence was shot. In the Lady Chapel, they can rub away the current view to reveal the richly decorated Altar c 1460. In the South Transept, they can explore a real-time 3D animation of the Cathedral building and medieval Tower construction.
“What a gem. I recommend this app as it's really informative. I visited Gloucester cathedral earlier today and this app gave a great insight into the cathedral and was really informative. The interface is clean and intuitive, the content interesting and the animated building of the cathedral that is triggered when you point your camera at the cathedral image on the floor is superb. I watched that 3 times, it's amazing. Great work by the Devs.”
Image courtesy of Imagemakers

Virtual Tour Interactive App

This interactive app allows greater accessibility to specific spaces within the Cathedral that access restrictions might otherwise prohibit, including 360-degree interactive panoramas from the Cathedral’s tower and eight interactive films (filmed by drone) that take the visitors around the building and display detailed interpretation at key locations. The app is pre-installed on tablets provided by the Cathedral.

This powerful but light-touch interpretation provides a novel way to appreciate features such as the giant East Window and other out-of-reach locations and encourages access for all.

Touchscreens Hubs

Touchscreen interactives are located at important ‘hubs’ in the Cathedral: the Cloister hub, the King’s Tomb hub, the Mason’s Bracket hub, and the Lady Chapel hub.

Each hub explores a different theme: the daily life and learning of a monk at the Cathedral; the monarchs and their association with the Cathedral; the journey of the building and its construction and development over time from its origins to the current day; music, singing and Marion antiphons; and women in religion and society from St Mary to Bishop Rachel Treweek, the first female diocesan bishop in the Church

All exhibits, including the hubs, are supported by a powerful content management system continuously refreshing the visitor experience. All media is automatically formatted into dynamic templates to maintain the high-quality exhibition brand.
'I’ve worked with Wide Sky as a very capable and supportive digital partner on a number of projects and their performance throughout on Project Pilgrim was excellent.

As lead designers we were looking for expert technical and creative input to ensure the vision was delivered on all fronts, and Chris and Rob were central to ensuring that happened with the app, virtual access and digital interactives. The digital media works perfectly alongside the rest of the scheme. Thank you Wide Sky.'
Imagemakers - Project Manager

East Window Accessible Interactive

This joystick controlled interactive enables visitors to seamlessly navigate around high-resolution imagery of the magnificent East Window.

The interactive allows visitors to get up close to the beautiful stained-glass panels to view them in a detail not possible previously. Areas of interest within the window panes are highlighted automatically with pop-up captions.

Zooming from the entire window in to each panel, the simplest controls explore every inch of what was at the time of installation the largest window in the world. At 22m high it remains one of the greatest examples of medieval stained glass.

What’s On Welcome Screen

This large format anti-glare screen welcomes visitors to the Cathedral and displays information about ‘What’s On’ – introducing the varied schedule of events that make-up the Cathedral’s every-day life.

An automated sequence displays an introductory highlights film, current and forthcoming events, details about the café and real-time data from the Cathedral roof’s innovative Solar PV panels.

This public signage system is driven by a simple but powerful content management system – any media format can be displayed and is automatically formatted into the exhibition brand. Events can be scheduled into the future with full control over the times and dates, days, months and even years for display. Staff can update the system remotely at their leisure and upload changes as and when required.