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Walking with Romans

25 July 2013

Walking with Romans

New app gives visitors to Brecon the chance to retrace Roman footsteps

Visitors to an ancient marching camp in Brecon Beacons National Park can now retrace the footsteps of Roman soldiers thanks to a free cutting-edge mobile app for smart phones and tablets using Cardiff University research.

The new Walking with Romans application for Apple and Android devices will bring the Romans back to life at Y Pigwyn marching camp and Waun Ddu fortlet, near Trecastle.

The multimedia app, produced with the support of historical consultant Dr Kate Gilliver of the University’s School of History, Archaeology and Religion and developed by Living Data Labs, uses GPS triggered technology and augmented reality to take visitors on a trip back through time to explore the Roman remains at the site.

The Walking with Romans app takes users on a four mile walk around the Scheduled Ancient Monument site of Y Pigwyn, guided by the voices of local modern day tour guide Rory and Primus the Roman Legion soldier, who together tell the story of the Romans’ conquest and settlement story in the National Park. As well as videos and augmented reality technology that help visitors better understand the layout and role of the camp, the app features helpful guidance on how to get to the site, an itinerary check list and a fun section letting visitors ‘dress your Roman’.

Senior Lecture in Ancient History Dr Kate Gilliver explains how her research helped shape the project: “I’ve worked with both the Park Authority and Living Data Labs, providing information on the Romans in South Wales and the two sites, particularly on the nature and role of marching camps and their defences. Reconstruction images and videos have been produced as part of the app based on my research on marching camp defences, as has the dialogue of the two virtual tour guides on the phone app.”

The Walking with Romans app is now available to download from the iTunes and Google Play online stores. A link to the app and further details can also be found at www.breconbeacons.org/romans 

The new mobile app is part of the Romans in Carmarthenshire project funded through the Heritage Tourism Project managed by Cadw, which is backed by the European Regional Development Fund. The aim of the scheme is for Brecon Beacons National Park Authority and its partners National Trust Wales and Carmarthenshire County Council to improve and enhance Roman heritage links across key sites in Carmarthenshire.

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