Explore historic churches from the comfort of your own sofa


TAKE a virtual tour of Oxfordshire’s historic churches from the comfort of your own sofa with a new website put together by Nikhilesh Haval.nik

Nikhilesh is an architectural photographer who has been authorised by Google to take shots for Street View. “Google extended Street View to go inside businesses,” says Nikhilesh, who remembers being impressed by St Paul’s Cathedral when he was studying for his first degree in architecture in India. It wasn’t until he came to the UK 16 years ago to do a Masters in Software Development, that he saw St Paul’s for real.

“I have always been fascinated by heritage architecture. I’d seen St Paul’s, which was Wren’s masterpiece, in books. When I moved here I visited all of Wren’s churches around London.”

After a similar project in London, Nikhilesh began to use the same processes to photograph churches in Oxfordshire. Using a normal DSLR camera, he takes multiple panoramic shots and uses computer software to stitch them together. The result is a virtual tour of the church.

The website, Oxfordshire Churches in 360 Degrees, has proved popular with Nikhilesh being featured in the Sobell house magazine and being asked to give a talk for the Oxfordshire Family History Society. “People may be planning to get married and have visited three or four churches. This gives them the chance to have another look when they get home,” says Nikhilesh.   The website is also useful for historians or anyone with an interest in churches who may want to check out a building before they visit.”




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