Hull’s Wilberforce House Museum – former home to one of the city’s most famous sons, the anti-slavery campaigner William Wilberforce – can now be explored digitally thanks to a new 3D virtual tour.
Wilberforce was born and brought-up in Hull and East Yorkshire, and his former home in the city centre is now a museum telling the story of the transatlantic slave trade and its abolition, as well as dealing with contemporary slavery.
Born in 1759, he became interested in politics and was elected MP for Hull in 1780 before becoming MP for Yorkshire four years later. He led the campaign for the abolition of the slave trade in Parliament, while the Abolition Society collected evidence and organised petitions.
Housed in a 17th century former merchant’s house, Wilberforce House is one of the world’s oldest slavery museums. It was first opened in 1906, before being refurbished and re-opened with new displays in 2007 – the bicentenary year of the abolition of the British slave trade.
The new 3D rendering offers a chance to explore his birthplace and its collections on a smartphone or digital device, and features a virtual walk-through tour of the House, showcasing the exhibits and revealing more about the story of Wilberforce and his campaigning.
Among the permanent displays are journals and items that belonged to him, as well as many significant items linked to slavery and the campaign that eventually led to its abolition.
Located in the Museums Quarter on High Street in Hull’s Old Town, the free-to-enter Museum also has a small art collection, which includes portraits of Wilberforce throughout his life, as well as depictions of slave ships and slaves.
While Hull also commemorates the life and work of the campaigner and the city’s historic links to the cause of freedom at Hull’s flagship cultural event, the annual Freedom Festival, the Wilberforce Way is a 60-mile walking route from Hull to York, linking nearby Beverley and the Yorkshire Wolds village of Pocklington, where he went to school.
The 3D virtual tour was made possible through funding from the DCMS cultural recovery fund.
The virtual tour is available at www.hcandl.co.uk/museums-and-galleries/wilberforce-house/wilberforce-house.
For all other tourism information about Hull, see www.visithull.org.