Take an armchair tour of one of Scotland's most impressive coastal castles

You can get up close to the mighty Tantallon Castle in East Lothian without having to leave the house – and the views are spectacular.

Tantallon Castle never fails to impress as it rises mightily over the North Sea.

Now, the grand medieval pile in East Lothian is being brought closer to home with a new 3D model that can be viewed on any smartphone. The model allows viewers to explore angles of the structure not normally open to those visiting in person – and includes a spectacular bird’s eye view. The 17th-century doocot can also be explored.

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Tantallon Castle has been turned into an impressive 3D modelTantallon Castle has been turned into an impressive 3D model
Tantallon Castle has been turned into an impressive 3D model

Nobleman William, 1st Earl of Douglas, oversaw the construction of Tantallon in the mid 1300s to announce his arrival on the centre stage of Scottish politics. In the 1380s, the powerful house of Douglas split into two branches – known as the 'Black' and the 'Red'. Tantallon passed to the junior line, the 'Red' Douglas earls of Angus, and remained with them for the next 300 years.

The castle was finally abandoned in 1651 following a destructive siege of the castle by Oliver Cromwell’s army.

Tantallon faces new and ongoing threats. It has been exposed over the centuries to the effects of wind and sea spray, with the red sandstone structure suffering from erosion that has intensified as weather patterns change. The model will allow Historic Environment Scotland (HES), who made the model, to monitor changes to the fabric of the building.

Sophia Mirashrafi, senior digital innovation officer at HES, said: “We are excited to continue to offer innovative ways for the public to enjoy our sites. Each of our digital models is created using a combination of high-resolution laser scans and thousands of photographs that are then combined into one 3D object. This model was created using almost 1,450 images and around 200 laser scans.

“Our models are incredibly accurate and primarily used to support the conservation of our sites. Using this highly detailed 3D model, we can monitor physical change at Tantallon Castle and help manage the property for the future.”

Anyone can now explore the dramatic site on their computer, tablet or mobile on the Sketchfab website, along with many other models of HES sites and objects.

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