Reconstructing St Mary's Collegiate Church, Youghal

St Mary's Church - How the nave looked in 1800.

I had the recent pleasure of working on a series of 3D animated reconstructions of St Mary’s Collegiate Church in Youghal, Co. Cork. The reconstructions visualise the building’s long and eventful chronology from 1250 to present day. In that time the church has undergone significant internal and external alteration to accommodate radical changes to worship – notably from the mid-sixteenth century onwards. These visualisations were commissioned for a large interactive touch-screen display - a feature of a new visitor exhibition at the church which opened in Summer 2021.

Working with a creative team led by interpretation consultant, Ann Scroope, and from research conducted by local historians, Dr. Alicia St Leger and David Kelly, I was able to bring St Mary’s past to life with three high-detail interior visualisations depicting the church in 1250, 1500 and 1800.

I created computer animations for the interactive to show the chronological development of the church and its free-standing tower over 700 years of its history.

The project presented me with several challenges: not being able to physically visit the church in the middle of a global pandemic with travel restrictions in place, and developing a way to simplify the visual information in the animations. Using measured survey drawings, photographs and archaeological data, my first task was to develop a computer model of the modern church which I could use as a starting point to visualise the church’s earlier architecture. For this, I combined the archaeological data and documented evidence collated by Alicia and David. Information referenced from other medieval churches helped us to fill some of the gaps in our information. The task of creating the computer models, animations, and interior renderings took approximately four months.

Councillor Mary Linehan Foley, Mayor of County Cork using the interactive.

Commissioned by Cork County Council / Scroope Design (Ireland) 2020/21. Two of the illustrations can be viewed in detail on my Artstation page.

Digital reconstruction of the chancel screen in 1500. St Mary's Collegiate Church, Youghal.