Kett's rebellion VR experience at Norwich Bridewell Museum – Eastern Daily Press
It is one of the most famous episodes in Norwich’s history, when a group of insurgents stormed the city before going into bloody battle against a royal army sent to defeat them.
Now, the dramatic story of Kett’s Rebellion in 1549 has been recreated in a new virtual reality (VR) experience at the Museum of Norwich at the Bridwell.
The device features a headset which can be worn by visitors and allow them to follow the uprising, from its roots in Wymondham to its gory denouement at Dussindale.
Hannah Henderson, a curator at the site, said: “So far feedback from visitors has been extremely good, with the most positive responses being from our older visitors, many of whom have never tried a VR experience before.
“We’ve never had any VR in the museum before, and it has engaged people in such a unique way. The story of the rebellion is such an important part of our history, both nationally and locally, and it has been wonderful to see it brought to life.
“It certainly has made people reflect at a deeper level on what life was like back then and the brave actions people took to fight for freedoms we generally now take for granted.”
The device has been installed in the foyer as part of an exchange from the South Norfolk District Council and Wymondham Heritage Museum.
The rebellion started as a protest against wealthy landowners.
Robert Kett, himself a wealthy landowner from Wymondham, instead of resisting the rebels, offered to lead them and the group headed to Norwich.
The VR experience features a glimpse of hand-to-hand fighting in Elm Hill, as the insurgents took over the city, before an army was sent by the government to put down the uprising.
The royal force defeated the rebels at the Battle of Dussindale, on August 27, 1549.
The rebellion was one of the last major public revolts in England.
Who was Robert Kett?
Robert Kett was a businessman and landowner from Wymondham.
When a small band of rioters attacked his newly installed fences, he listened to their concerns and offered to lead them ‘in defence of their common liberty’.
They marched into Norwich and set up camp at Mousehold Heath, which overlooks the city.
The rebel army grew to around 15,000 people – the equivalent of half the population of Norwich at the time, representing more than 50 towns and villages.
The rebellion lasted over seven weeks and triggered a national crisis before an army led by the Early of Warwick defeated the rebellion.
Kett was hanged from the battlements of Norwich Castle and his brother William was hanged from Wymondham Abbey.
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