A VIRTUAL reality tour unearths a colourful hidden history of archaeological sites around County Durham.

The Past Perfect web site is designed with the expertise of county archaeologists from Durham and Northumberland. The site gives browsers a chance to look around each location to see what they would have looked like in their prime, thanks to colourful virtual reconstructions.

Among the sites featured are Old Rookhope at the peak of the lead mining industry, Forcegarth Pasture, an Upper Teesdale farmstead as it would have appeared in the first century, and Thrislington Medieval settlement near Ferryhill. The site can be seen on www.pastperfect.org.uk