The Peterloo massacre in 1819 was a pivotal moment for British democracy. When the army charged peaceful protestors in Manchester killing 18 and injuring 100s, it set in motion a train of events that brought democracy to ordinary people. With the 200th anniversary fast approaching, Manchester Histories needed to co-ordinate commemorative events and tell the story of what happened.

Provocative thought

How could we tell the story in a way that feels natural to a generation raised on computer games? What if people could explore the events of the day from the viewpoint of protestors, magistrates and cavalry and police?


Working with a historian and a 3D artist, we developed a storytelling experience using high-res digital models of central Manchester in 1819. These were pulled together into a game-like digital experience so you can explore the day’s events on multiple levels from idle browsing to deep research. Around that we used maps, social media integration, API data and a host of volunteer content creators to promote the 200th anniversary and show how you can get involved.

Try out the interactive below, or visit the website at

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