Project Theme: Legacy

The ‘Legacy’ strand of the Henry on Tour project, led by Kate Giles, will be conducted by Heritage360 at the University of York and project partners DigVentures.

This strand will explore what architecture, archaeology and material culture can tell us about Henry VIII’s progresses, via analyses of the evidence for alterations made to a range of buildings and landscapes. A series of lost or under-excavated sites including former monastic buildings, manors and palaces shedding light on different progresses will be identified for geophysical survey by Dig Ventures in the first year of the project, leading to proposals for community-engaged excavation in Year 2. This will hopefully include the ‘lost’ North Wing of Petworth, dating from Henry VIII’s work at the manor in the 1520s.

Results from geophysical survey, archaeological excavation and archival research, as well as consultation with local stakeholders and communities, will inform the creation of digital visualisations by the University of York’s Heritage360 team, who specialise in creating 2 and 3D reconstructions that enhance scholarly and public understanding. How were buildings adapted and altered structurally, or decoratively, to receive the king and queen and provide suitable accommodation for their vast retinues? How were local communities impacted by Royal progress, and what long-lasting legacies did this leave on the landscape and on individual sites?

This strand will bring together academics, heritage professionals, local community stakeholders and educators to explore the challenges for these kinds of sites. It will also investigate the potential for projects such as Henry on Tour to foster a sense of place and greater connectivity within and between local communities and businesses, supporting sustainable heritage tourism and empowering partners to curate and enhance their own visitor experiences.