Google puts North West heritage sites on the digital map

Date published: 25 January 2010

Some of the most historic locations in the North-West can now be explored with the click of a mouse on Google’s Street View mapping.

English Heritage’s most famous sites, will be available for people to explore on the site from Thursday.

Over 20 historic locations across the UK — including castles, landscapes and country houses — have been scanned using a panoramic camera, bolted to the back of a tricycle, and added to Google’s online mapping service.

Users can now take a 360–degree, ground–level tour of sites in the the North-West, including Stockport’s Lyme Park, in Disley, Cheshire, and Quarry Bank Mill in Styal, Wilmslow, Cheshire.

Other locations added include Stonehenge in Amesbury, Wiltshire, Corfe Castle in Wareham, Dorset, Wicken Fen, near Ely, Cambridgeshire and Lindisfarne Castle in Berwick–upon–Tweed, Northumberland.

Jane Austen fans with a romantic sensibility can even take a virtual turn around Lyme Park — made famous by Colin Firth’s emergence from its lake as Mr Darcy in the BBC’s adaptation of “Pride And Prejudice”.

Google’s Street View cyclists pedalled over 125 miles on the 18–stone trike, following marked routes around the English Heritage sites to capture them from every angle.

Ed Parsons, technologist at Google, said: “We were delighted to be able to open up some of the UK’s most famous landmarks to the rest of the world via the web.”

However, he does not believe the online experience will discourage tourists from visiting the sites in person.

He added: “It’s a fun way to preview what to see and do on a day out. Or whet your appetite for where to go next.”

Lawrence Roots, visitor manager at Corfe Castle, said: “It’s fantastic to think that people around the world, who might never be able to travel to the UK, will be able to see the castle and enjoy a virtual visit.”

Google will continue to collect images from other National Trust and English Heritage sites throughout 2010, including UNESCO World Heritage Site the Giant’s Causeway, in County Antrim.

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