8 Interesting Facts about Coastguard Stations

1. The initial purpose of the Coastguard was revenue protection, but this changed during the 19th century to that of naval reserve. 2. In the 1920s life-saving responsibilities became the Coastguard’s primary role, along with coastal observation. 3. Over the last two centuries the number of stations has fluctuated, reaching a peak of over 500 in the early 20th century. 4. The more isolated stations were required to be self-sufficient and in addition to the accommodation and storage facilities there mightRead more

Excavation of a Viking-Age Cemetery at Cumwhitton

Little did Peter Adams know, when he pulled a metal object from the ground in 2004, that he had made one of the most exciting discoveries in Viking-age archaeology in England for many years. He had been metal-detecting, with permission, on farmland to the west of the quiet village of Cumwhitton in the Eden Valley and, until then, it had been a fruitless search. The object was reported to the Portable Antiquities Scheme and proved to be a brooch thatRead more

Warbstow Bury: Re-writing the Story of a Cornish Hillfort

Warbstow Bury, a multivallate hillfort in north Cornwall, is  one of the largest and best preserved hillforts in the county. Perhaps not the most well known of Cornwall’s ancient monuments, being ’off the beaten track’ in a countryside parish, but it remains popular with local dog walkers and is easily accessible to passing visitors. In an effort to improve the understanding of Warbstow Bury, we conducted a detailed analytical earthwork survey in October 2013, followed by intensive desk based research, and discovered some intriguingRead more

6 Stunning Lighthouses (From 1AD to the Present Day)

Trinity House, the lighthouse authority for England and Wales, celebrates its 500th anniversary today after being granted a charter by Henry VIII on 20 May, 1514. To commemorate this day, let me take you on a quick tour of England’s rich lighthouse heritage. The earliest recorded lighthouse in England, still standing, although disused for centuries, is the Roman pharos at Dover, hinting by its presence at possible Roman wrecks off the Kent coast. Medieval structures bear witness to the shipwrecks which causedRead more

George Clarke: The Value of Heritage in our Homes

Britain faces a number of critical housing issues. There is a series of difficult and complicated problems that needs to be addressed so that we can have a clear and long-term housing plan that is not only sensible, but also achievable. Short-term reactions don’t work, but with cross-party approval a long-term strategy can be consistently implemented by whichever government is in power. If we don’t have that long-term plan then the crisis will never be solved. I sometimes wonder whether theRead more

Blue Plaque for Tony Hancock

As English Heritage announces a blue plaque to the comedian Tony Hancock, the writers behind the radio and television series Hancock’s Half Hour – Ray Galton and Alan Simpson – reflect on their time working with him.   When we were asked to unveil the blue plaque at Tony Hancock’s one time apartment at 20 Queen’s Gate Place it brought back so many memories.  It was during the period Tony lived there that our career began.  We first met himRead more

Latest Research Reports – April

This month we have a diverse collection of newly published reports containing the stories of kings, queens, giants, glassblowers and explosives – some sites have such a long and fascinating history that you can hardly believe it all occurred in one place! Surrey and Sussex: Chemical Analysis of Production Waste from Wealden Glasshouse – Can production waste from glasshouse sites give new insights on the arrival of Jean Carré’s immigrant glassworkers, c 1567? Warbstow Bury, Warbstow, Cornwall: Archaeological Survey Report – From Iron Age hillfort to Second WorldRead more