[HOLDING PAGE ONLY – to be changed – to see individual event pages go to HOME]


Welcome to the information and download page for ‘Romancing the Gibbet’. These 4 events are part of the Being Human festival, the UK’s only national festival of the humanities, taking place 14–23 November. Led by the School of Advanced Study, University of London, in partnership with the Arts & Humanities Research Council and the British Academy. For further information please see

Romancing the Gibbet’ is a collaboration between poet Ralph Hoyte and historian Steve Poole. We explore themes of ‘dark tourism’ using ‘mobile immersive media’. This innovative use of technology allows you to experience Ralph Hoyte’s poetic responses to four notorious Georgian era murders and the subsequent extraordinary public executions ‘on the ground’, where the events actually took place.


For the Being Human Festival we have organised four events (one for each of the ‘murder trails’). At each individual event in each individual place (Walfords Gibbet/Nether Stowey in the Quantock Hills; Avonmouth, Bristol; Broadway Tower in the Cotswolds; and St Denys Church in Warminster), Steve Poole will explain the historical background to the particular murder case and the subsequent crime-scene execution, Ralph Hoyte will perform extracts from his poetic responses, and we will both introduce the project’s four free audio trails and explain how they were made.

In addition, for each Being Human Festival event, a sample of each audio-trail will be relocated in and around the venue for you to try out the experience and the technology (that means, for example, the above ‘soundpool’ will be duplicated and put as near to the venue for the Avonmouth ‘Being Human Festival’ event as possible).

It is essential to download the app to your phone or gps-enabled tablet beforehand if you wish to do this (instructions on how to do this will be posted on Monday 4 November). Don’t forget your headphones: this is an audio-trail!