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

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

Not Just Green Spaces: 5 Buildings Designed by Capability Brown

His visionary landscape designs brought Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown lasting fame, punctuating the natural environment to this day with serpentine rivers, rich woodland and palatial views. But what many people forget about Capability Brown, is that he also designed buildings and monuments within his commissioned landscapes. Surviving examples are rare and often protected by listing. Here are 5 of the structures he is less famous for. The Burton Pynsent Column, Somerset Sometimes referred to as the Cider Monument, the 140ft columnRead more

Modernism at the Seaside

The 1930s saw a great diversity of architectural styles: from Neo-Georgian for town halls and mock Tudor for suburban semis, to ‘anything goes’ for the latest cinemas. But the seaside was the setting for some of Britain’s first and finest ventures into Modernism, a new movement that espoused the benefits of sunshine, simplicity and space. Here are 6 of the finest examples of Modernism at the English seaside:  1. The Midland hotel, Morecambe Designed by Oliver Hill, one of the England’sRead more