Gruesome Georgians: Crime and Punishment

In Georgian Britain, crime was rife. Over 200 offences were punishable by death, including murder, rape, arson, forgery and sheep stealing. A gruesome, painful and humiliating demise was often favoured by the courts. Many buildings and structures related to Georgian crime and punishment survive, and many are listed as  fine examples of Georgian architecture, as well as for their place in the fascinating history of our justice system. The Women’s Prison, York (now York Castle Museum). Grade I listed The grandRead more

Pioneers & Rebels: 7 LGBTQ People in History

Pride of Place, our ground-breaking research project in association with Leeds Beckett University, has seen members of the public share information about the LGBTQ buildings and places special to them via an online map. The 1,600 contributions made have uncovered fascinating stories and insights into an under-documented history. You can see the findings in an online exhibition on the Historic England website, and we’ll be sharing our favourite stories here on the blog. More details on the objectives of PrideRead more

A Brief Introduction to…Vernacular Houses

First thing’s first, what is a vernacular house? These are houses built to reflect local customs and traditions using locally available materials like wood, stone and brick. They are ordinary, rather than monumental buildings and so different from region to region that they are a vital part of England’s local distinctiveness, defining the country’s much-loved landscape. Some of these simple houses are now listed and celebrated as nationally important. They are irreplaceable evidence of how our ancestors used to live, build andRead more

Innovation and the Country House

When you visit a country house open to the public, look beyond the elaborate plasterwork, elegant furniture or collections of Old Masters and ask how the family and their servants lived from day to day in such houses. Innovative technological advances of the time where adopted, and can still be found on display, particularly in those country homes which have now opened up their servants’ quarters to the visiting public. Here are 6 objects which contributed to comfortable living:  Written byRead more

Tall Tales From 7 Unusual Monastic Sites

mo·nas·tic adjective relating to monks, nuns, or others living under religious vows, or the buildings in which they live. Following the recent listing of the unusual site of the ‘correrie’, or lower house to Hinton Priory in Freshford, near Bath, Joe Flatman, Head of Listing Programmes at Historic England takes a look at 7 of the most intriguing monastic sites on The List. Hinton Priory, Freshford, Bath The Carthusian priory at Hinton was founded in the early 13th century byRead more

55 Years of Public Art in Newcastle-Gateshead

The Angel of the North may be Newcastle-Gateshead’s (and probably the UK’s) most well known public artwork but the city has a much longer history of public art making, going back at least to the early 1960s. Our free exhibition, Out There: Our Post-War Public Art, explores the  significance of structures created by pioneering artists between 1945 and 1985. 8 September to 23 December 2016, Bessie Surtees House. Rebecca Farley, researcher in Media, Culture, Heritage at Newcastle University, takes us through six artworks thatRead more

Not Just Green Spaces: 5 Buildings Designed by Capability Brown

His visionary landscape designs brought Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown lasting fame, punctuating the natural environment to this day with serpentine rivers, rich woodland and palatial views. But what many people forget about Capability Brown, is that he also designed buildings and monuments within his commissioned landscapes. Surviving examples are rare and often protected by listing. Here are 5 of the structures he is less famous for. The Burton Pynsent Column, Somerset Sometimes referred to as the Cider Monument, the 140ft columnRead more

London: A Design for Life

Sir John Sorrell CBE is a UK Business Ambassador for the creative industries, and co-founder of the Sorrell Foundation with Frances Sorrell (neé Newell) in 1999 with the aim of inspiring creativity in young people. He is chairman of University of the Arts London, founder and chairman of the Creative Industries Federation, and chairman of the London Design Festival, which he co-founded in 2003 with Ben Evans. John is one of the sitters for Historic England’s I am London exhibition. His is the sixth in a seriesRead more

Weaving London

Daniel Harris is the founder of the London Cloth Company. Established in 2011, it is the first micro-mill to open in London. Daniel is one of the sitters for Historic England’s I am London exhibition. His is the fifth in a series of guest blogs published throughout the exhibition. 11 July to 4 September 2016 FREE, 10am – 8pm, Monday to Sunday Central Saint Martins, UAL Window Galleries, Kings Cross One of the great benefits of being based in London is the abundance of innovative, intriguing andRead more

Modernism at the Seaside

The 1930s saw a great diversity of architectural styles: from Neo-Georgian for town halls and mock Tudor for suburban semis, to ‘anything goes’ for the latest cinemas. But the seaside was the setting for some of Britain’s first and finest ventures into Modernism, a new movement that espoused the benefits of sunshine, simplicity and space. Here are 6 of the finest examples of Modernism at the English seaside:  1. The Midland hotel, Morecambe Designed by Oliver Hill, one of the England’sRead more