The Mysterious Case of the Witch Bottle

In the 16th and 17th centuries, many people believed in witchcraft, and blamed ill-fortune such as their crops failing or the death of a loved one on a witch’s curse. People would do anything to ward off an evil spirit, from creating counter-curses to marking their doorways to keep the witches out. Nowadays we enjoy stories of magic and witchcraft as a part of English folklore, knitted into the history of our historic places, many of which may still holdRead more

7 Spooky Tales from England’s Haunted Castles

Many of England’s historic buildings and monuments set an inspiring backdrop for mysterious tales of paranormal activity, their rich heritage feeding into narratives passed through generations. This Halloween we’re taking a look at how tales enjoyed at this time of year, of witches, ghosts, vampires and ghouls are knitted into English folklore, making their mark on our culture and historical places. Here are 7 spooky stories linked to some of England’s oldest castles. The Vampire of Alnwick Castle, Northumberland WritingRead more

Heritage at Risk at the Movies

Our Heritage at Risk programme protects and manages the historic environment, so the number of ‘at risk’ historic places and sites across England is reduced. Stephanie Dance-Groom, Historic England’s Local Engagement Adviser in the South East, takes us through some of her local Heritage at Risk sites that have featured on the silver screen in the past and need our help now.  Doctor Who is running again. It’s Tom Baker this time (the one with the preposterously long scarf and jelly beans). Surrounded byRead more

10 Portraits of England

Our Archive collection of over 9 million images contains some of the earliest photographs ever taken, and exists as an ever growing visual diary of our built environment. If you’re new to the Archive perhaps you’ll search the name of the area you grew up in, your old school, your favourite building or ancient monument. Dive into the further reaches of it’s collections and you may be surprised what you find. Alongside images of the built environment are hundreds ofRead more

“I’m sorry but what is a Scheduled Monument?”

The well preserved remains of No. 1 Filling Factory at Barnbow, near Leeds, have today been granted Scheduled Monument status. Women made up the vast majority of the workforce, engaged in the incredibly dangerous work of filling shells for the western front including the Battle of the Somme. Jane Sidell, Inspector of Ancient Monuments for London at Historic England,  sheds some light on the term and talks us through some of the fascinating scheduled monuments she’s come across. “I’m sorry butRead more

The Beautiful North

In April 2016, towns and cities across the North East, North West and Yorkshire were invited to bid to put on a ‘Great Exhibition of the North’, which will celebrate the best of art, culture and design across the northern regions. Sponsored by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, the exhibition will run for two months and help investment and tourism in the region. From nine strong proposals, four areas have been shortlisted: Blackpool, Bradford, Sheffield and Newcastle-Gateshead. HereRead more