Explore the lost grounds of Northampton Castle from home with VR phone app

The VR experience lets players explore Northampton in 1222.
The VR experience lets players explore Northampton in 1222.

Life in Northampton Castle in the 13th-Century can now be experienced in virtual reality.

The walls of the long-lost castle have been rebuilt in a new phone app and can be explored at home.

Set in 1222, the app allows players to walk around the long-lost grounds, where they can enjoy games, meet the town's historic figures and take part in a Medieval tournament.

The joint effort by the Friends of Northampton Castle and Northampton Borough Council aims to highlight the history of the castle and its place in Northampton's past.

Chairman of the Friends of Northampton Castle Dr Marie Dickie OBE said: "We're very pleased to have VR as a way to experience the magnificence of the castle as it used to be."

Players use the app by wearing their phone with a cardboard frame headset. They will find themselves on the day of a tournament at Northampton Castle and are free to walk the grounds and help the townsfolk prepare for the show.

Today, nothing remains of Northampton Castle except a postern gate and archaeological ruins near Northampton Railway Station.

Dr Dickie said: "We know how hard it is for people to imagine what it was like to have this huge castle in the centre of town. This is an opportunity to not just see it but to meet the people there."

The app was created by VR company Pixel Creative Technologies, who have made two other Northampton Castle experiences for the Friends before.

Councillor Tim Hadland, cabinet member for regeneration, enterprise and planning, said: “This is a fun and quirky way of encouraging people to immerse themselves in Northampton’s rich history and is a great way to bring learning to life.

“Developed specifically to highlight the fascinating history of the castle, there are a range of games suitable for the whole family which we hope will inspire people to find out more.”

The app is available from Google Play, the iTunes Store and the Android Marketplace under "Northampton Castle VR 2.0".

The app will also launch as part of the Looking Glass Theatre's Halloween Ghost Tours, in Mare Fair, town centre, on October 28, 29 and 31, with headsets available.

To learn more about Northampton Castle, visit their website.