The new Walking with Romans application for Apple and Android devices, produced by Brecon Beacons National Park Authority and its partners, will bring the Romans back to life at Y Pigwn marching camp and Waun Ddu fortlet, near Trecastle.
The multimedia app, produced with support from the Cardiff University 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 new mobile app is part of the Romans in Carmarthenshire scheme funded through the Heritage Tourism Project managed by Cadw, which is backed by the European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Government. 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.
The Walking with Romans app takes users on a four mile walk around the Scheduled Ancient Monument site of Y Pigwn, 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 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 you dress your Roman. The Walking with Romans app also allows users to follow the story at Roman sites in Carmarthenshire including Dolaucothi Gold Mines, Garn Goch, Carmarthenshire Amphitheatre and Carmarthenshire Country Museum.
Suzanna Jones, Interpretation Officer for Brecon Beacons National Park Authority, said: “The launch of the Walking with Romans app signals the midpoint of a two year project which brought together partners from across Carmarthenshire with the common goal of re-telling the Romans’ story. We’re thrilled with the end product, and we hope users have as much fun utilising the app as we have putting the content together.”
Mrs Julie James, Chairman of Brecon Beacons National Park Authority, said: “What’s fantastic about this mobile application is that it uses technology to improve interpretation without impacting on the environment in the way that signage and information boards can do. This is an enjoyable and informative way for visitors to really understand more about the Romans’ presence at Y Pigwn.”
Cardiff University Senior Lecture in Ancient History Dr Kate Gilliver, who was Historical/Archaeological Consultant for the project, said: “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 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.