We worked in partnership with Addoldai Cymru: The Welsh Religious Buildings Trust to create an online ‘virtual museum’ telling the story of Welsh chapels in terms of religion, architecture, culture and society.
Funded by Visit Wales as part of the Digital Tourism Framework Programme, the project builds on the long-running work of the Commission in highlighting the importance of chapels as a distinctive and iconic building type in Wales that contributes significantly to both our urban and rural landscapes. While now recognised as being on a par with the other great public buildings of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, chapels are one of the classes of building in Wales most at risk through redundancy.
The full content of the Commission’s Chapels Database – a total of 6430 sites – has been made available online through the project website. Users are also able to add or update their own information and images. A mapping interface allows users to generate data about, amongst other things, different denominations, styles and architects.
Virtual access to chapels owned by Addoldai Cymru has been created via Gigapixel photographic tours and laser scanned fly-throughs carried out by the Commission, thus allowing the buildings to be explored remotely by people all over the world. The stories of these chapels and their communities are also told through a series of films and interactive visualisations, which bring together archive material, computer reconstruction and community information to explain their significance.
The website will continue to grow and develop, and will become a focus for learning about and engaging with these iconic buildings, which are outstanding sites for heritage and important places for the future.