HAMPSHIRE Cultural Trust is working with video game developer Ubisoft and creative innovation studio Sugar Creative to develop an interactive visitor attraction in Winchester.

Planned for the Brooks Shopping Centre it will offer visitors the chance to experience what life would have been like in Anglo-Saxon Winchester.

The museum will occupy an vacant unit in the Brooks, between HMV and TK Maxx, to bring together modern technology and history to boost the accessibility of the city's heritage.

It will recreate a significant period in the ancient capital’s history – the times of King Alfred the Great and the Battle of Edington.

A planning application has been submitted to the city council.

READ MORE HERE: Assassin's Creed plan backed by Hampshire County Council

Beyond including a traditional free-flowing exhibition space featuring Anglo-Saxon artefacts and archaeology, the key feature will be its innovative use of cinematic audio-visual projections. These will be used to create an emotional narrative-driven experience to transport visitors back to 878 AD.

The experience does not end there, however, as an app will be developed to take visitors back to the Anglo-Saxon streets of Winchester as they exit the museum. A walking-tour app will use Augmented and Mixed Reality technologies with geo-located content to allow visitors to see Winchester as it once was.

With a minimum of 50,000 visitors per year anticipated, the museum is intended to increase footfall in the city and aid in post-pandemic recovery.

The attraction aims to draw in fans of Ubisoft’s popular video game Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, which is based on Anglo-Saxon Winchester.

SEE ALSO: Civic chiefs are backing plans for cultural link with Assassin's Creed

The immersive gallery will be used as a test case for a future permanent Anglo-Saxon attraction in Winchester, as previously reported, with the Trust working towards the aim of establishing Winchester as a “significant cultural heritage destination”.

It is hoped that the plans will increase public access for people of all ages to Winchester’s Anglo-Saxon heritage, offering those who do not typically engage with arts and heritage a chance to enjoy learning history in a new way.

The museum is due to open this autumn but is not intended to be permanent.

The trust was asked to comment but declined at this stage.


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Kimberley Barber