‘The Glory Hole’ at La Boisselle is a small area of First World War battlefield on the Somme. Practically undisturbed since 1918, it is one of the most historically important military mine systems on the Western Front. At the request of the land owner, La Boisselle Study Group was formed in 2011 to carry out a long-term archaeological study of The Glory Hole.
Whilst visitors are made very welcome on site when the Study Group are working, due to the nature of their work and the potential dangers in the tunnels, it’s not always possible to show them round in person. Due to these restrictions, a 360° virtual tour of The Glory Hole was seen as an ideal substitute to an ‘on site’ guided tour and also a way of showcasing the work to a wider audience online.
The finished tour contains thirteen 360° panoramas of the Glory Hole, including five from the sections of underground tunnel system excavated thus far. Each panorama incorporates four or five hotspots to help the user interpret the scene before them and learn more about the history of the site leading up to the first day of the Battle of the Somme on 1st July 1916.
With text provided by historians Peter Barton, Simon Jones and Jeremy Banning, the virtual tour provides a superb insight into this unique section of First World War front line and mine system.
As excavations continue, we will return to La Boisselle to document the work and expand the virtual tour with new 360° panoramas and additional photographs. We are also exploring the possibility of incorporating historical panoramas of the area created prior to, and just after the first day of the Battle of the Somme.