The advent of a new way of consuming the history – and architecture, and much else – all around us.
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Have you ever wondered about the history of a building or a place as you rush past, busy with life, and have never had the opportunity to stop and investigate it further? Millions of people walking through the U.K.’s towns, cities and landscapes every single day of the year pass buildings or places of historic importance or interest with virtually every step. Many of them do so without another thought.

That there is nothing ‘out there’ to satisfy my need for instant, audio gratification of this gaping hole in the nation’s knowledge of his own historic environment, seems astonishing. A year ago, my son, a trainee psychiatrist and author of three popular science books, as well as being a self-confessed medieval architecture nerd, made the same complaint to me. So, together with a fellow medic, Joe Butler, they came up with an idea to create a single platform where ultimately, millions of content creators could upload information about sites of historic interest anywhere in the world and allow other millions of consumers to download and enjoy them.

Thus was the idea for guidl formed. The next step was to see whether we could give the idea legs. We needed a mixture of history enthusiasts, financiers, technologists and marketeers to make it happen. Well, dear reader, I am here today to say that we’ve done it! A number of us got together and worked out a way of creating a platform that would give content creators the opportunity to upload material, short or long, for users to then download and consume for a small payment (between £0.99p and £9.99). A year later (I’m writing this in September 2023) I look back in wonderment at the fact that we’ve raised a considerable sum of money, have nearly built the platform, have recruited over 50 leading historians and guides and have been promised about 1,000 guidls on the site when it goes live in January 2024.

Soon you’ll be able to listen to someone – an expert in their field – providing a quick explanation of a place in the guidl audio app. It’s being built as we speak, the platform being released to the world of historians, tour guides and location specialists at the end of October 2023 so that they can upload guidls and guidl tours ready for the launch of the app to the paying public in January 2024.

Because this is an elephant that needs to be consumed chunk by chunk, we are launching guidl with a primary focus on London, Oxford and Cambridge, but will be pushing hard for guidl creators to join the platform and expand its repertoire just as quickly as they can.

So are you an historian (like me) with a story about a person or a place that you want to describe? Guidl is designed specifically to allow you to build a new audience on a new platform. Want to speak for 3 to 5 minutes on a subject close to your heart to a new and endless audience? Uploading a guidl will provide the answer. You’ll have it there, on the platform, for the world to download, either when they come that way or from the comfort of their homes. The platform is designed to be geo-located and work with the GPS in everyone’s smart phones. The IP will be yours forever, as will be the recurring revenue. It’s also free to upload! What’s not to like?

We’ll be live on the internet soon at, but in the meantime contact me for further information at A whole bunch of Aspects writers have already jumped on the happy bandwagon: we look forward to welcoming you too.

Robert Lyman is a historian and writer, and the author, with Richard Dannatt, of Victory to Defeat: The British Army 1918–40.