Reconstruction of Chester Amphitheatre © English Heritage Photo Library Please credit: Peter Dunn, English Heritage Graphics Team

The amphitheatre was one of the few building types created by the Romans and its purpose was to stage spectacles (spectacula), which included wild beast hunts (venatoria) and the throwing of criminals to the beasts (damnatio ad bestias), as well as other forms of criminal execution and gladiatorial fights (munera). The classic event was the so-called munus legitimum, a spectacle […]

Berwick

5.  Lost Railway Stations Earlier this month, we celebrated the release of Simon Parissien’s new book on English Railway stations with a nostalgic look at some of the architectural gems of the railway industry that have been lost.  Many of you expressed amazement at Euston Arch, built in 1838 at a cost of £35,000, and demolished […]

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1. Birmingham Snow Hill This fine Edwardian station was demolished in 1977 despite a public outcry.  The historic fabric was razed and trains on the old Great Western line to Leamington were terminated at Moor Street – originally devised as an overflow station for Snow Hill. However, the damage to cross-city services was so severe […]

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1. London Paddington Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s trainshed at Paddington is one of the wonders of British architecture. The first real cathedral of the railway age, with columns supporting the innovative, ridge-and-furrow glazed roof, it was both decorative and ingeniously functional.  Hidden pipes drained rainwater underneath the concourse floor, while the roof’s iron beams were pierced […]

The_Leasowes, 1811 Wikimedia Commons

Three hundred years ago today William Shenstone was born at The Leasowes, his family farm in Dudley. The son of a moderately prosperous farmer, he was later to become a pioneering force changing the way we look at and experience gardens and landscapes. 1. William Shenstone was a visionary William inherited The Leasowes estate, and in […]

Little Moreton Hall

This year’s Heritage Counts reveals that visiting different types of historic places can have a positive impact on our general wellbeing and happiness. The results found a significant relationship between life satisfaction and visiting heritage, from historic towns to archaeological sites, and for the first time ever have identified the types of heritage sites that can have the most […]

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1. The Response, Newcastle Designed by Sir William Goscombe John, unveiled 1923. Grade I listed “The Response” memorial in Newcastle sits in the public gardens of the church of St Thomas. An extraordinary scene is depicted in the form of a bronze group of dozens of highly detailed figures, those in front marching in step […]

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