New technology to transform one of the world’s oldest writer’s house museums

All hell is breaking loose at Milton’s Cottage, with demonic takeovers, avenging angels and an epic battle between good and evil.

Get ready for some strange sightings as Milton’s Cottage launches a unique new augmented reality (AR) visitor experience – transforming one of the world’s oldest writers house museums through the use of new technology. The project has been funded through the AIM Biffa Award History Makers programme, as part of the Landfill Communities Fund.

Milton came to the cottage during a previous pandemic – the Great Plague of 1665 – to complete his epic poem Paradise Lost. So it seems fitting that Milton’s Cottage have used the compulsory Covid-19 closures to create an entirely new take on his best-known work.

Published in 1667, Paradise Lost has never been out of print since and is the first illustrated poem in the English language. From Blake to Turner, Gustav Dore to Salvador Dali, many great artists have responded to Milton’s epic since the first illustrated edition was printed in 1688.

Now design team Daniele Baron, Mark Dodson and Dan Lusby are set to join this illustrious company with their immersive AR experience – introducing a demonic cast of characters, who will lead visitors on a voyage of discovery around Milton’s only surviving residence.

It’s an opportunity to discover Milton’s incredible story, uncover rare books and treasures from the museum’s collection, and unravel the magic of Milton’s Cottage through a family-friendly AR visitor experience that’s suitable for all ages.

Lisa Ollerhead, Director of AIM, commented, “The purpose of the AIM Biffa Award History Makers programme is to inspire people through the lives and achievements of extraordinary historical figures. We’re pleased to support Milton’s Cottage in using technology to engage audiences with John Milton’s story in new and surprising ways.”

Rachel Maidment, Biffa Award Grants Manager, said: “It is amazing to see how new technology can work hand in hand with this important historical building to bring alive the life, times and works of poet John Milton, a man who was an inspiration to generations of authors. It is a privilege for Biffa Award to be able to support this remarkable project through the AIM Biffa Award History Makers Programme.”

John Dugdale Bradley, Trustee of Milton’s Cottage, said: “Milton has inspired many of our best-loved authors, including childhood favourites such as Tolkien, C.S. Lewis and Philip Pullman. This game-changing project will engage a new generation with Milton’s legacy – bringing our collection of rare books and treasures to life and showcasing Milton’s Cottage as a place where stories and storytelling continue to live.”

Click here to visit the Milton’s Cottage website>>

Click here to find out more about the History Makers scheme>>