Stirling Castle

Location: Stirling, Scotland

The second prototype of Historiscope was installed at Stirling Castle in March 2022 and has been experienced by thousands of vistors!

The Challenge

March, 2022 marked a milestone for SENSEcity in the development of Historiscope. In November 2021, SENSEcity was awarded UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) funding as part of the Audience of the Future challenge with matched funding from Historic Environment Scotland, to continue the development of Historiscope at Stirling castle.


Automated Running

Historically accurate

Child friendly experience

Narrative driven experience


The team visited Stirling Castle to find an appropriate location for Historiscope. A spot at the Queen Anne Gardens was chosen to overlook the Forework Towers. 

This location creates a perfect setting with castle towers becoming a canvas for fun, informative and accurate reconstructions, bringing an authentic snapshot of castle to life.


Development of the augmented reality experience focused on the narrative of Mary Queen of Scots within the castle grounds. This narrative was imperative to the development of Historiscope, showcasing its strength and enriching the experience for visitors. 

While developing this story, we worked with a range of talented digital designers, 3D animators, and developers who created a detailed recreation of the events that took place under strict heritage consultation and reimagined the lost architecture of the castle. 

We also incorporated a distinct soundscape of auditory details to compliment the visual display, making up the medieval landscape.

Design strategy

Utilizing a holistic approach, our team iterated on the previous version of the Historiscope at Urquhart Castle. Initial feedback from the earlier version led to reducing the height and incorporating a step. Now, even our younger audience could experience the magic.

The most significant difference between the version at Urquhart and the prototype at Stirling was introducing a more complex internal hardware structure. This structure helped us address overheating issues, which enabled us to run the device for long hours across any weather.


The leading technology leveraged by the Historiscope is augmented reality combined with telescopic imagery to create a cohesive live video for the user to view. 

Using LiDAR scans, Unreal Engine, and custom software for Windows, we can showcase live AR scenes and reconstructions of heritage sites.

Utilizing our heritage experts, 3D animations, and framework built to create the scenes, we can develop accurate replications for every heritage site.


Construction of the Historiscope was completed by Neptune Fabrications along with using modern manufacturing techniques such as 3D printing to create a cohesive unit with usability and manufacturability at the forefront of the design.

Staff Interview

The Historiscope at Stirling Castle has been warmly welcomed by HES ground staff and visitors alike. Here is what Ross Blevins, the site manager had to say.

User Survey

78.6% of people agreed that Historiscope helped them understand Stirling’s history better. 94% said they enjoyed the overall experience.

It has become apparent from the research that people found such an experience educational, entertaining and meaningful. Our existing clients, HES, have also found that visitors engage with this new generation of experiences.

Next Steps

Following the great success at Stirling castle, we aim to expand Historiscope to heritage sites across the globe, allowing visitors to experience their favorite places of history in an entirely new light.

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