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

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

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

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

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

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

A Brief History of Burial

As religious beliefs and the location of human settlements have developed over time, so have our burial rites and memorials to the dead. Our knowledge of these rituals is instrumental in understanding the communities which have inhabited England throughout our known history. Sites such as the recently uncovered Anglo Saxon cemetery in Norfolk, in an excavation by archaeologists from MOLA and funded by Historic England, open up the history of our attitude to death and inform the protection of theseRead more

5 Memorials that Chart Life and Loss in the First World War

There are few towns or villages in Britain that do not have a public memorial to commemorate those who died in the First World War; a sobering testament to the scale of the loss involved in the conflict. In Britain, around six million men were mobilised, and of those just over 700,000, or 11.5%, were killed. Over half a million men who served in the British army have no known graves. There are more than 100,000 war memorials in the UK. TheyRead 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