Ghosts of Hylton Castle: New digital project captures spirit of 14th Century landmark as restoration project continues

Hylton Castle
Hylton Castle
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Creative talent from Sunderland is helping to digitally record people’s recollections for the oral history "Ghosts of Hylton Castle" community project.

The 14th Century landmark is being restored as part of a cultural heritage partnership between Sunderland City Council and the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Overseers say they want to put the community at the heart of the project, and part of this work includes gathering people’s memories of growing up near Hylton Castle.

Some of these precious memories have already collected and stored in a time capsule buried in the grounds, and others are now being gathered to share with future generations through oral history.

The latest recording sessions for ‘Ghosts of Hylton Castle’ will take place on Saturday June 16 at the nearby Bunny Hill Centre between 10.30am and 2pm.

Members from Castle in the Community will also be on hand on Saturday to talk to people about the restoration of the castle and recent developments in the project over coffee and cake.

Local company Foresight eLearning has volunteered its services to add a new digital edge to the recording sessions.

Lee Daymond and Barry Braley, who were both brought up near the castle, set up the new digital technology company to provide business with support to develop digital content for their websites and social media channels through using animation, motion graphics and video production skills.

Both will be on hand on Saturday to film all those who want to be recorded on camera, and use the footage to create dazzling new online content for the Hylton Castle website and the ‘Ghosts of Hylton Castle’ project itself.

Lee said: “Myself and Barry were both brought up near the castle, and wanted to help support the restoration project for this much loved local historic landmark.

"It will have such a fantastic impact not only on the local community, but also the city and the region as a whole.

“We are proud to volunteer our company’s digital skills to help promote the excellent work being undertaken there to an even wider audience, and get even more local people and volunteers involved in telling its’ story.”

Councillor John Kelly, cabinet member for communities and culture in Sunderland, said: “We want people to come along and share their memories with the Hylton Castle project team to help us create a permanent record of their recollections.

“Generations of people have grown up with the castle and the dene in their lives, and the Ghosts of Hylton Castle oral history project is collecting their stories and interviews. They will become part of the castle’s future through their use in exhibitions, images and film when it re-opens to become a new education and visitor centre at the heart of community life again.”