Laser Scanning at 17th Century Tredegar House in Newport, Wales

A laser scanner stands on a tripod outside an old redbrick building and manicured garden.

Over the course of spring Archaeovision has completed a laser scanning project of the interiors and exteriors of several buildings in the Tredegar House (Tˆy Tredegar) complex, commissioned by the National Trust. The buildings recorded for the project include the Tredegar Stables, Orangery, Mill, Great Barn, Lesser Barn, and Doctor’s House.

Tredegar House has been described by architectural historian John Newman as “the grandest and most exuberant country house” in Monmouthshire, and one of the “outstanding houses of the Restoration period of the whole of Britain”. It is a Grade-1 listed 17th century country house mansion in Newport, Wales, formerly owned by the Tredegar Morgan family from the late 15th century through to 1951, when the building became used as a convent school, then council housing. Since 2011 Tredegar has been under the care of the National Trust. The house has been used as a filming location for a range of TV productions, from Antiques Roadshow, to Doctor Who, to Being Human.

Archaeologist Kate Rogers stands next to a laser scanner on a tripod, with shelves and boxes of books behind her, and a large mill wheel to her right.
Kate Rogers enduring the arduous task of laser scanning inside Tredegar Mill, now a second-hand bookshop. She may have bought one or ten.

Laser Scanning across the estate proved challenging as our field visits coincided with extreme Storms Dennis and Jorge, bringing rain and considerable flooding to the site. However, thanks to the expertise of our team combined with FARO Focus S70 laser scanning technology, we were still able to collect the highest quality of scanning data despite the weather and water reflections, capturing points at 0.06mm intervals, producing models that included billions of points.

Stable block
The stable block east elevation showing the effects of the two storms
The Doctor’s House and Brew house

The scans, images, and floor plans produced by Archaeovision can now be used by the National Trust Tredegar team to identify and manage physical changes which are not visible to the human eye, nor shown by architectural plans. Such changes include subsidence, decay, and post-construction additions and adaptions from various eras of Tredegar’s 400-year history. This allows future planning and conservation projects to be based on Tredegar’s current and actual physical state, rather than relying on approximations based on historical records or eye-to-hand drawn plans.

A view of a walled and gated outdoor courtyard the size of a football field. Archaeologist James Miles stands in the water at a distance with the laser scanner on a tripod.
James Miles enjoying the weather whilst recording the stables from the flooded courtyard entrance to Tredegar House.
Archaeologist James Miles squats next to a sitting black labrador puppy wearing a bright orange harness inside an old building with a high ceilling, wooden rafters, and stone paving.
New Archaeovision team member Fenrir Miles dons the hi-vis in the Tredegar Stables. Tasked with crowd control he failed miserably.

Posted on 14/04/2020 in Projects

About the Author

Kate has recently completed her PhD in Archaeology at University of Southampton. where she combined documentary filmmaking with archaeological research and practice. Prior to this, she completed a Masters of Film and Television specialising in documentary filmmaking at the Victorian College of the Arts, Melbourne University. With Archaeovision, Kate will begin to use her experience in film and documentary by exploring new avenues of work for the company, where we will be look to partner with a number of production companies. At the same time, Kate will also be used in a number of our ongoing projects, where she will develop her skills in 3D recording and processing.

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