The First British Bungalow

Single story dwellings under the name Bungalow have been around since the mid-19th century. The bungalow became both a symbol of bohemianism and the building type of choice for the aspiring upper middle class seeking an affordable second home in which to enjoy the new concept of ‘the weekend’. Dr Andy Brown, Planning Director at Historic England, takes us through the mysterious origins of the bungalow in Britain. The first modern British bungalows were designed by little-known English architect,  JohnRead more

8 Reasons to Love Historic Manchester

Famed for its industrial output, pioneering political movements and musical exports, Manchester’s rich heritage is of national importance, recognised worldwide. Here we celebrate 8 places that tell the story of Manchester’s history. 1. Manchester was commended by a US President You may wonder how a 4ft tall statue of ‘Honest Abe’ Lincoln found its way to Brazzenoze Street in central Manchester. The origins of the statue go back to the 19th century, when Manchester was one of the biggest cottonRead more

It’s Love – actually!

Here at Historic England, we love heritage and we love our movies, so to celebrate Valentine’s day we thought we would look at some of the historic places that have provided a backdrop to some of our favourite romance films. Written by Paul Backhouse, Head of Imaging at Historic England. The Princess Bride Penshurst Place, Kent. Grade I listed. In the climactic scene of this timeless romance, Inogo Montoya utters the immortal lines “My name is Inigo Montoya. You killedRead more

Women in Science: 10 minutes with a Maritime Archaeologist

To mark the UN’s International Day of Women and Girls in Science, 11th Feb 2017, we spoke to Alison James, Maritime Archaeologist at Historic England, about what inspires her in her work. Can you give us a brief introduction to what you do? I’m a Maritime Archaeologist at Historic England so I deal with the 52 protected wreck sites around the coast of England. They range from Bronze Age sites right through to 21st century submarines, from Northumberland down to the IslesRead more

5 Historic Places that Mark LGBTQ Love and Pride

This February, we’re celebrating love and historic places. Many of the places where we meet and fall in love might seem quite ordinary, but for us they are extraordinary. Heritage leaves its mark on all of us, and there’s romance in everyday places. Many historic places have seen love against adversity; love kept secret, and love breaking boundaries. Here are some of our favourites: 1. The Shared Tomb of Radclyffe Hall and Mabel Batten, Highgate Cemetery, London, Grade I listed.Read more

Britain on the Brink of Starvation: Unrestricted Submarine Warfare

One hundred years ago today on 1 February 1917, Germany resumed its policy of ‘unrestricted submarine warfare.’  The seas around the British Isles were declared a war zone in which fishing vessels and unarmed merchant vessels, carrying essential items such as foodstuffs, coal and iron ore, would be attacked without warning by German U-boats. Featured image: UB106 on rocks Falmouth 1921 © Historic England/ Patrick Casement [see footnote 1] Prior to this a U-boat would surface, search a vessel, give theRead more

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