I had the pleasure of exploring the Virtual Paul’s Cross Project. This interactive digital project, produced by professors at NC State University, allows the viewers to virtually experience the delivery of John Donne’s sermon for Gunpowder Day on November 5, 1622 in Paul’s Churchyard. The viewers can experience the sermon visually through the visual model and acoustically in to hear it as an acoustic space. The producers also presented information about John Donne, the script for the sermon and the event to give the viewers a background story.



For the script of the sermon, the producers of the project used a manuscript copy as well as the first printed edition of the sermon. To create a visual model of the Paul’s Cross and Paul’s Churchyard, they mainly used large number of engravings, maps, drawings and paintings that made it intact from the 16th and 17th century because the St Paul’s Cathedral was burned down. On top of the primary sources they used, the producers also did plenty of research and used many secondary sources to learn about John Donne, the Church of England, the Chapel Royal, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Paul’s Cross, Trinity Chapel, Lincoln’s Inn and the Historical and Cultural Background of the sermon.


The visual model was constructed with Google SketchUp, using the modified images. The images were modified according to the proportions of accurately measured Paul’s Cross Preaching Station, the Cathedral and the Churchyard. The acoustic model was constructed using the visual model. The acoustic engineers on the project calculated reverberation and incorporated ambient noise by using their background knowledge of the daily life of people at the time.


The project is presented in four main parts: overview, visual model, acoustic model and background information. The overview offers detailed information of the purpose of the project, how it was constructed and where it is installed. The visual and acoustic models are the key components of the project and additional information about the preacher, the occasion and the sermon offer background story about the project.