Putting on a Progress 1578:

Pageantry, People and Places

About the project

Curious Spark has been awarded £98,000 by the National Lottery Heritage Fund to bring one of the most exciting periods in Norfolk and Suffolk’s history to life using cutting edge 360° immersive technology.

On 11 July 1578, Queen Elizabeth I set off from her royal palace in Greenwich on her unique royal progress which would see an immense throng of people, including her royal household and foreign ambassadors, journey North. They travelled across East Anglia to her destination, Norwich, Norfolk. During this progress intriguing privy council meetings took place, magnificent feasts were enjoyed and iconographic pageantry was performed. This project will hone in on the pageantry, places and people of Suffolk and Norfolk. We will use original sources written during and shortly after the progress to create unique immersive experiences for audiences.

Using virtual reality technology we are filming and producing 10 actor-led, historically placed-based,  immersive room experiences embedded with hidden ‘hot spots’. Audiences will enter an Elizabethan world where they will bear witness to privy council conversations and royal entertainment; enlightening, emboldening and enhancing understanding of this fascinating age. You will be challenged to find several ‘hot spots’ to access links to delve deeper into the fascinating history of 1578.

The films will be available on quality VR headsets which will be available to hire free of charge* by schools, youth groups, places of heritage, libraries, archives and community groups.  Each experience will be complemented by its own activity pack. Schools will be able to choose from Key Stage 3, GCSE or A Level curriculum linked packs, whilst other audiences will enjoy added activities connected to their locality.



Collaborating with The Restoration Trust and Window Wanderland CIC we will offer creative sessions to explore our connectedness, our sense of belonging to a place or community and how Queen Elizabeth I ventured ‘into the unknown’ to connect to her citizens during the 1578 progress.

Follow Curious Spark on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to  keep up to date with all the exciting opportunities to join in and follow Queen Elizabeth I as she sets off on her 1578 Progress.


Putting on a Progress 1578: Into the Unknown

An Elizabethan Window Wanderland

‘Into the Unknown’ will focus on engagement with people who may not necessarily engage with heritage, but are curious to find out more about their locality in the past.

Community may or may not have been important to us during the social upheaval brought on by the COVID 19 pandemic. In this part of the POP 1578 project aim to consider ‘our place’ within ‘a community’ both in the present and in the past and consider how we belong or would like to belong to a community or place.

Let’s Start Something new
Say Hello!

Find out more about Putting on a Progress 1578