Virtual tour shows off church's £1m make-over
A church in Llanrwst which has undergone a £1million transformation has come up with a novel way to enable visitors to look around.
St Grwst’s Church is now open for worship and to tourists but Coronavirus restrictions ban visitors from outside Conwy county. Instead, they can undertake a virtual tour. 360 degree images of the medieval church, the historic Gwydir Chapel and the churchyard enable visitors to see the wonderful restoration, imaginative reordering and flexible spaces now available inside St Grwst’s. Close- up inspections of the ceilings and floors are also possible.
The Vicar of Llanrwst, the Revd Sarah Hildreth-Osborn says, “The new Virtual Tour is brilliant and shows off St Grwst’s Church and Gwydir Chapel to great effect. We are delighted with the tour and the work carried out by a local company.”
The virtual tour of St Grwst’s has been created by Llanrwst-based company, Mark360 Virtual Tours. Its owner, Mark Schorah, says, “As a new business, I wanted to find an iconic building to demonstrate my 360 degree photography to businesses across North Wales – and St Grwst’s fits the bill perfectly!
“The tour is navigable by following the arrow icons, or by making selections from the image carousel. By selecting the Virtual reality (VR) icon, you will be able to experience an even more immersive visual experience by attaching your compatible smartphone to a VR headset. ”
In 2018 St Grwst’s was awarded £707,700 from the National Lottery to upgrade the building and enable it to remain as a place of worship, while also serving a dual purpose as a heritage and tourist attraction, bringing visitors and the local community together. New disabled access, vital repairs and upgrading work to the buildings had just been completed when lockdown happened. The total project cost is in the region of £1.2m.
Built originally in 1170, St Grwst’s is reported to be the only church dedicated to the saint. After being partially destroyed during Owain Glyndwr’s uprising in the 1400s it was fully demolished during the War of the Roses in 1468. The building that stands today was constructed in 1470, with further alterations and additions made over the following centuries.