From 15th-17th February 2016, I surveyed and recorded historic graffiti and carvings across the site of Carlisle Castle using the Leica P40 Scanstation, photography and video recording (Canon 5D Mk ii) for SfM photogrammetry. Most of the carvings found are located inside the keep, and I do recommend a visit – keep your eyes peeled and you realise there is graffiti all over the castle, as the red sandstone is a very soft material (though you must certainly refrain from adding your own..!).
Most of the carvings are of medieval and post-medieval date, many of which have never been systematically recorded before. Quite a few of the medieval carvings allude to allegiances with powerful families and rulers. Coat of arms and heraldic symbols are very common, especially in the so-called prison room on the keep’s second floor. The “prisoners’ carvings”, as they are commonly called, depict crests connected to Richard III, who for a time was Warden of the March, including his personal symbol, the white boar, the white Yorkshire rose, as well as symbols connected to the influential Dacres (scallops) anad Percys (fetterlocks), who were his allies.
The original medieval oak door to the “prison” room also has carvings, but has never been fully analysed, so I took this opportunity to laser scan and photograph it for the production of 3D models.
Some graffiti dates to the 19th century and were created by soldiers. One piece on the keep’s second floor clearly states the graffiti artist belonged to the 55th Westmorland Regiment, which amalgamated with the 34th Cumberland Regiment to become the Border Regiment in 1881.
Lastly, a fascinating example of historical recyling can be seen inside D’Ireby’s Tower, where a Roman altar stone had been reused in the medieval period as a door lintel! I took photographs of the altar to be processed into a photogrammetric model.
Once this data is all processed, I hope to analyse the detail and quality of the 3D models generated, to see which method and settings are most suitable for future recording of similar historical carvings. It was great to see how intrigued visitors were in the work. I hope this will provide a digital means for people to view these carvings that can be difficult to access physically.