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

5 Extraordinary Listings in 2016

Listing is the act of identifying the most important parts of our heritage so they can receive special protection. We celebrate their significance, and make sure that our history can be enjoyed by present and future generations. Over 1,000 places have been granted protection through listing in 2016. Here are five that represent the diverse nature of our historic environment and captured the heart of the nation: Punk History Numbers 6 & 7 Denmark Street are two of just eightRead more

Thou Shalt Not Kill: 7 Sites of Memory to Conscientious Objectors

It is believed that as many as 20,000 men from all walks of life were originally on record as conscientious objectors between 1916 and 1918, refusing to fight in the First World War for religious, political or humanitarian reasons. They appeared before local tribunals to have the sincerity of their claim interrogated – often humiliatingly and aggressively – in public. These tribunals were biased towards believing the objectors were acting from cowardice not conscience.  It was a time when whiteRead more

Dickens at Christmas: 7 places to visit around the UK

Is there any novelist more closely linked with Yuletide than Charles Dickens? His story, A Christmas Carol, was an instant hit in 1843 and helped make Christmas fashionable again. It remains hugely popular, with its perennially relevant call for greater kindness and the end of greed. It’s perhaps less well known that Dickens wrote about Christmas many times, often with radical intent, and without the sweet gloss the Carol would get from later adaptations. To help you explore what theRead more

A Changing Climate: Water, Flooding and Historic Buildings

Water. We can’t live without it. Throughout history living near water has been important for almost every aspect of human life and for the resources and raw materials that rivers, lakes, wetlands and the sea provide. But living in close proximity to water is not without its challenges. In 2009 The Environment Agency estimated that 1 in 6 properties in England (5.2 million) were at risk of flooding.  There are 1.8 million people currently living in areas at significant riskRead more

8 Historic London Shopfronts

London streets are lined with colourful shops, clamouring for our attention. Many are of considerable age, and have survived for our enjoyment only through careful maintenance by generations of shopkeepers. Kathryn Morrison, Head of Historic Places Investigation, selects eight shopfronts that can be appreciated by anyone strolling along the pavements of London, and offer a glimpse into the city’s rich history as one of the world’s most exciting shopping centres. Presented chronologically, these shopfronts show how our shopping streets haveRead more

8 Sites of Importance in the History of Black Music in Britain

Throughout November, Historic England has been supporting the BBC ‘Black and British’ season with a series of new listings that celebrate Black British history. In this (by no means exhaustive) list we look at some of the most important buildings and places in the history of music by artists of black origin. Greenwich Palace – Tudor Music Coming to London at the beginning of the 16th Century, the trumpeter John Blanke is one of the earliest recorded black people to have livedRead more