Working in partnership with the Capability Brown Festival 2016 and the Heritage Lottery Fund, the National Trust has developed the Park Explorer, a new innovative approach to help visitors access information about the history of the park at Petworth
Three years of archaeological research at Petworth, working with over 100 volunteers, has greatly increased our understanding of the park. A history of expansion and development spanning 800 years, with successive owners imposing their own grand designs, has left behind a series of lost landscapes and forgotten buildings, masked by the work of the famous English landscape gardener Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown.
How it works
We are trialling new technology at Petworth that delivers information to your smart phone or tablet so you can learn about our hidden past while exploring the landscape. The new interactive Park Explorer network uses a series of Wi-Fi hotspots, discretely placed in the park and Pleasure Grounds of Petworth, providing free, safe and secure access to lots of fascinating resources, through any smart phone or tablet. It doesn't connect to the internet so it won't use up any of your data.
Try it out - it only take 3 steps
While exploring the landscape open up your Wi-Fi settings on your smart phone or tablet. You'll know you're in a hot spot when you see Park Explorer as a option to connect to.
Open up a fresh web browser page where you'll be sent to the homepage.
If you don't automatically go to the homepage enter http://www.ip.lan into the web bar at the top of your screen to access the Park Explorer.
If your device uses Near Field Contact (NFC) technology, you will also be able to access location-triggered content at the swipe of a phone. Please note, NFC technology doesn’t currently work with Apple devices but you will be able to access this content via the URL given on the sign.
What you can discover
As you explore the grounds using the different hot spots, you will be able to use your device to pick up animations, videos, digital reconstructions of former landscapes and scenes that you can rub away to help you visualise the past.
For example you will be able to find lost archaeological sites like the Earl of Northumberland’s monumental stables or the Duke of Somerset’s elaborate formal gardens, through evidence pieced together from archive maps, historic paintings and archaeological surveys. You can see galleries of unearthed artefacts and relive the excavations of the Elizabethan Hunting Lodge or the old North Wing of Petworth House.
We would love to hear about your experience of using the Park Explorer. Let us know what you think by sending an email to: petworth @ nationaltrust.org.uk or via our Facebook and Twitter pages.
As part of the 300 year anniversary of the birth of Lancelot 'Capability' Brown, the 2016 summer exhibition Petworth Park Revealed: The Naked Landscape, explored the scale and impact of Capability Browns’ work at Petworth using multi media tools drawn from three years of archaeological investigations.
The majestic 700-acre park at Petworth is one of the finest surviving and unspoilt examples of an English landscape designed by Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown. Find out more about the transformation from formal garden to 'natural' parkland and its use during the Second World War.