Smithills Halls

Case Study

Preserving Smithills Hall's Historical Charm Through Drone-Based 3D Modelling, Building Elevation Survey, and Photogrammetry


Smithills Hall, nestled in Bolton’s heart, has enraptured history enthusiasts and preservationists for centuries. Our mission was to immortalize its architectural splendor and historical significance through a meticulous project, preserving both horizontal and vertical dimensions for future generations.

Client Overview:

Client: Smithills Hall Heritage Trust
Industry: Heritage and Preservation

Smithills Hall, a testament to the region’s rich heritage dating back to the 14th century, entrusted us with its stewardship. The Trust recognized the need for a comprehensive 3D modeling project, encompassing a detailed building elevation survey and photogrammetry, to safeguard this architectural masterpiece’s historical significance.


Preserving Historical Grandeur: The primary challenge was preserving intricate architectural details both horizontally and vertically. The hall’s ornate decorations and subtle structural elements demanded meticulous attention.

Accurate Spatial Representation: The historical value required unparalleled accuracy in our 3D modeling, ensuring faithful representation of the hall’s exterior and interior.

Sky Scan Surveys|Smithills Halls


Our comprehensive solution combined advanced technology and meticulous planning:

Ground Control Points (GCPs) and Drone Survey:

  • GCP Placement: A network of strategically positioned GCPs was established around Smithills Hall, with known geodetic coordinates, using hybrid/ integrated surveying technique
  • Drone Survey with Zenmuse P1 45MP Camera: The DJI Matrice 300 (M300) with the Zenmuse P1 45MP camera and Post-Processed Kinematic (PPK) technology captured detailed aerial imagery of Smithills Hall, ensuring accuracy and comprehensiveness.

Building Elevation Survey and Photogrammetry:

  • Photogrammetric Processing: Advanced photogrammetric techniques, including Agisoft software, processed high-resolution imagery to create detailed 3D models and point clouds of the hall’s exterior.
  • Deliverables: Our deliverables included comprehensive PDF documentation, DWG files, and OBJ files for architects and preservationists, allowing precise analysis. The 3D model was hosted online for interactive exploration.
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Sky Scan Surveys|Smithills Halls


  • Our implementation phase combined precision and artistry:

    • GCP Placement and Drone Survey: GCPs and the DJI Matrice 300 with Zenmuse P1 captured architectural details and spatial data.
    • Building Elevation Survey and Photogrammetry: Photogrammetric processing resulted in highly detailed 3D models, point clouds.



The outcomes exceeded expectations: Drone-Based 3D Modeling and Photogrammetry: Precision and Accuracy: GCPs, the DJI Matrice 300, Zenmuse P1 camera, and photogrammetry achieved exceptional precision. The 3D models aligned impeccably with geographic features. Detail Preservation: Our models faithfully preserved every architectural detail, from decorations to structural elements. Geospatial Reference: Accurate georeferencing enabled seamless GIS integration, supporting spatial analysis and preservation.


PDF Documentation: Detailed PDF documentation provided an overview of the project, methodologies, and key findings. DWG Files: Architects and preservationists received DWG files for precise architectural analysis. OBJ Files: Versatile OBJ files facilitated 3D modeling and visualization. Online 3D Model Hosting: An interactive online platform allowed historians, students, and enthusiasts to explore the hall’s exterior and interior.


Drone-Based 3D Modeling and Photogrammetry: Architectural Restoration: Accurate data supports historically faithful restoration projects. Heritage Documentation: Detailed models serve as crucial references for heritage preservation. Educational Insights: Elevation data and 3D models enhance educational experiences, enabling in-depth exploration. By conducting a comprehensive drone-based 3D modeling project, a building elevation survey, and utilizing advanced photogrammetry techniques, we’ve preserved Smithills Hall’s historical charm and provided invaluable resources for architectural analysis, preservation, and education. This holistic approach ensures the hall’s legacy endures for generations, both horizontally and vertically.


For more information please email or call our Head Office on 0751-851-1623

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