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

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

“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

Tall Tales From 7 Unusual Monastic Sites

mo·nas·tic adjective relating to monks, nuns, or others living under religious vows, or the buildings in which they live. Following the recent listing of the unusual site of the ‘correrie’, or lower house to Hinton Priory in Freshford, near Bath, Joe Flatman, Head of Listing Programmes at Historic England takes a look at 7 of the most intriguing monastic sites on The List. Hinton Priory, Freshford, Bath The Carthusian priory at Hinton was founded in the early 13th century byRead more

Devon’s Shipwrecks

Shipwrecks don’t just happen in the deep sea: many ships are driven ashore or lie slowly decaying along riverbanks, estuaries, and creeks. The Department for Culture, Media and Sport has given protection to three such ‘shoreline’ wrecks on Historic England’s recommendation. For all three, one of the major factors in assessing their national significance for protection was their rarity. Generally speaking, the further back we go in time, the rarer the evidence is for shipwrecks around England’s coasts. So justRead more

How to do… Buildings Archaeology

Buildings: we live and work in them, use them and ignore them. But are they wallpaper to you or are you fascinated by them, their design and their history? We can all enjoy buildings more with an archaeological approach and here are some tips on how to interpret, analyse and record them. You’ll soon know your crucks from your plinths… Written by Lucy Jessop, Senior Investigator, Historic England. Header Image: Avon Mills, Malmesbury, Wiltshire. 1. Investigation We look closely at buildingsRead more

Discovered by Disaster: 6 Astounding Archaeological Finds from Environmental Change

Those of us working with the past can occasionally be viewed as stuck in it, not wanting things to change, but actually for archaeologists change is our bread and butter. We are obsessed with how, and why, people and their places have changed through time. Sometimes dramatic changes in the environment can lead to particularly exciting discoveries. Here are 6 of the best archaeological discoveries as a result of environmental change: Written by Hannah Fluck, Historic Environment Intelligence Officer, Historic England.Read more

A Brief History of the Bronze Age

The recent discoveries  of extraordinarily well-preserved 3,000-year-old homes at Must Farm in Cambridgeshire have highlighted the sophistication of domestic life towards the end of the Bronze Age, around 900 BC. But the Bronze Age was a long period, beginning some 1300 years earlier when life was very different to that of the inhabitants of Must Farm. Here we look at how technology and ways of life in England developed during the preceding millennium. Written by Dr. Jonathan Last, Landscape StrategyRead more