7 Places That Tell the Story of London’s International Heritage

London has always been a city of movement and migration, and the diversity of its population has made an important mark on its character. Greater London has just over 19,000 listed buildings, 162 scheduled monuments and 152 registered landscapes on the List and these special assets serve two important roles: one, they celebrate the extraordinary time-depth of human activity in a great world city; and two, they help to identify the places that should be safeguarded amidst the great paceRead more

The Silvertown Tragedy: Explosion on the Home Front

100 years ago today, on 19th January 1917 at 6.52pm, a catastrophic explosion at the Brunner Mond and Company’s high explosive TNT factory in Silvertown, East London killed 73 people and injured hundreds. Most were local residents, including children and babies. The force of the explosion was tremendous.  Streets of houses were flattened. Across the river from Silvertown, on the Greenwich Peninsula at a gas works, now the site of the O2 Arena, one of the gas holders exploded. UpRead more

Scheduling Makes its Stamp on Ancient Britain

Today, the Royal Mail have released a set of ‘Ancient Britain’ Stamps, continuing a long tradition of depicting historic subjects on stamps that dates back to the 1960s, when the Post Office began to issue sets of special stamps on a regular basis. Around twelve sets of ‘special stamps’ are issued every year. Eight historic sites and archaeological finds from around Britain are depicted on the new Ancient Britain stamps: five in England and one each in Scotland, Wales andRead more

Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Listed Building

One of the most popular detectives in literature, Sherlock Holmes has seen many outings on the screen, and the BBC1 series with Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman makes use of many listed buildings in its filming. Paul Backhouse, Head of Imaging at Historic England, takes us through a few of his favourites: 187 North Gower Street, London. Grade II listed Of course no list would be complete without the home of the legendary detective himself, 221b Baker Street. However, 187Read more

Britain’s Earliest Mummy and the People of Wor Barrow

Long barrows are the burial places of Britain’s early farming communities and are the oldest monuments surviving in our landscape. These earthen mounds acted as funeral monuments during the Early Neolithic (3700-3500 BC) and reveal much about the communities buried within them. Peter Marshall, Historic England’s Scientific Dating Coordinator and Jonathan Last, our Landscape Strategy Manager, take us through new findings from an extraordinary long barrow excavated over a century ago. Wor Barrow Wor Barrow lies within Cranborne Chase inRead more

154 Years of Amazing Architecture on the Underground

London Underground is the world’s oldest metro system: the first journey took place on 10th January 1863, when the Metropolitan Railway opened to the public.  On its first day, 38,000 people day took the 18 minute journey between Paddington and Farringdon. The underground has a history of thoughtful and thorough design and detail; from the commission of the Johnston typeface in 1913, to Harry Beck’s iconic 1930s design for the tube map, to the recent redesign of station staff uniformsRead more

8 Images of a Frosted England

Baby, it’s cold outside! Our Archive collection of over 9 million images is a window into the history of England’s archaeology, historic buildings and social history. You can use the archive to learn about your local area, and research well known historic buildings and sites. We hold some of the earliest photography ever taken. Keep warm this winter with our pick of 8 archive images of the historic environment covered in a blanket of snow: 1. Rievaulx Abbey, Ryedale, NorthRead more