The Old Mine VR

VR for Museums

The ability of VR to transport audiences back in time to tell untold stories and educate – opens up new and exciting opportunities for educators, museums and galleries.

With The Old Mine, Our aim was to give audiences a taste of what it might have been like to be a miner in a turn of the century colliery.

The experience was based on a now disused colliery at Hemingfield, in the north of England. Wearing a VR headset, the user is taken to a stunning recreation of the coal mine as it would have been in early 1900’s.

Users can freely explore the virtual site, examining objects they find, picking them up and learning about life there through a narration written and performed by award winning radio presenter and poet Ian McMillan.


The project was conceived by Iain Nicholls, a local artist who we have collaborated with before on the award winning Veil experience in 2015. Ian studied painting at Chelsea School of Art and the Royal College of Art before working for a time in the games industry.

Ian used a technique called photogrammetry to capture the site in stunning detail.

Light and sound were manipulated to create an amazing immersive and historical experience of the mine.

VR Museums and Galleries

The work was presented at Gazelli Art House gallery in Mayfair, London as part of the group show Enter Through The Headset 2 during the summer of 2017. It was also used by the National Coal Mining Museum.

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