Wouldn’t it really be great if we could step back in time and see what life was like for our ancestors? We have loads of ways to do that, of course, but in Blaenavon they’ve brought the past right up to date. This has been around for a little while now, but we thought it would be a good chance for you to explore it.

Ever wondered what it was like to live and work in Victorian Blaenavon? If the answer is yes – then you’re in luck! The brand-new TIME TRAVEL IN BLAENAVON is a fantastic way to discover the sights and sounds of 19th and 20th century Blaenavon.

Internationally recognised as the world’s major producer of iron and coal during the 19th century, Blaenavon World Heritage Site is an exceptional testimony to the dynamic forces that drove the Industrial Revolution. It is hoped that the new immersive experience and Time Travellers’ benches will encourage visitors to further engage and take interest in the area’s rich heritage.

Featuring real characters from Blaenavon’s industrial past, ‘Time Travel in the Blaenavon World Heritage Site’ uses audio storytelling and three-dimensional technology to display the town’s rich industrial history through three virtual reality films – showcasing life at Big Pit, the town primary school and the home of a local family in Blaenavon Heritage Town.

Using smart devices, the immersive content can be viewed at three iconic locations across the internationally celebrated region, including Big Pit National Coal Museum, Blaenavon World Heritage Centre and Blaenavon Heritage Town – which all feature in the immersive films.

Available to view via the Blaenavon Digital Passport, the virtual reality portray the trials and tribulations encountered by the industrial workers, as well as families and communities during the Industrial Revolution – with each educational film based on real characters and factual information sourced from local history groups and archives.

From experiencing the hardship of working life at Big Pit with local miner, Henry Underwood, to celebrating the opening of St Peter’s School – which was built by Sarah Hopkins in remembrance of her brother and Ironmaster, Samuel Hopkins. You get to watch, in real-time as modern-day Blaenavon landmarks and buildings return to a momentous time gone by. 

The films can be viewed with or without an accompanying VR headset, which are available to borrow from Big Pit National Coal Museum (deposit of £5 required) or Blaenavon World Heritage Centre, or can be simply viewed using a mobile phone. Plus, you can revisit the on-site experience and view the digital package at home using a desktop browser.

In addition to the arrival of the new digital package, Torfaen County Borough Council and Big Pit National Coal Museum have unveiled three bespoke Time Travellers’ benches to support the project – with a different bench design located at each site for visitors to use while enjoying the immersive VR films.

To turn back the clocks, all you need to do is visit the Blaenavon Digital Passport and look out for the Time Travellers’ benches! Located across the World Heritage Site, they provide the perfect place to sit down, access the films and step back in time. If you want to enjoy the experience at its best, this is the place to do it.

Created by Welsh artist Rubin Eynon, each bench has been designed to commemorate Blaenafon’s rich heritage and forged out of local materials to represent the area’s coal and mining industries.   

You can get more details on this brilliant event right here. HERITAGE and if you want to Time Travel wight now on your mobile device, just click to be magically transported to a time gone by. TIME TRAVEL Please note the Blaenavon Digital Passport is optimised for portrait mobile devices. If you are viewing it on a desktop you will need to reduce your screen size to view the passport correctly.


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