Computed Tomography of the Tidgrove Key

In 2007 the Tidgrove key was found during excavations near Kingsclere, Hampshire. A residence of Henry II, the site highlighted a complex that included a series of buildings, including a large cellar. At the foot of this structure lay a heavily corroded key. A new CT scanner at the University of Southampton revealed wire inlay over the shaft, and the fine cutting of the wards. Earlier this year, the Archaeological Computing Research Group at Southampton began to work on virtually reconstructing this artefact and how it may have been used.

The final model was primarily created from imagery and information provided by the CT scan data and this was used as a direct framework to build the foundations of the model. Texture work on the key was created in conjunction with alternative references, in particular doors and locks that could be dated to a similar period in the 11th Century. The lighting for the model is based upon a High Dynamic Range Image that has been used to provide a realistic environment using a natural spectrum of light and illumination.  This provides the dynamic detail and depth necessary to develop a photorealistic result.


  • David Hinton
  • Kris Strutt
  • Grant Cox