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

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

Jutland’s Surviving Warships

During the First World War, the British Navy dominated the sea, intercepting and detaining thousands of merchant ships carrying vital supplies bound for Germany and their allies. This month marks one hundred years since the British Royal Navy’s Grand Fleet and the Imperial German Navy’s High Seas Fleet met in the North Sea area west of Denmark’s Jutland Peninsula. What ensued was the largest naval battle of the First World War with over 100,000 sailors involved on 250 ships. MoreRead more

8 Things You May Not Know About the Battle of Jutland

The Battle of Jutland was the bloodiest naval confrontation of the First World War, involving 250 vessels and nearly 100,000 men.  The British Grand Fleet, whose key commanders were Admiral John Jellicoe and the then Vice-Admiral David Beatty, fought the German High Seas Fleet off the coast of Denmark. 6,097 British and Empire lives were lost, as well as 2,551 German. Neither side won a decisive victory, but the confrontation changed the course of the war, ultimately bringing the UnitedRead more

8 Important Sites Rescued and Removed from the Heritage at Risk Register

1. Elizabeth Gaskell’s House, Manchester (Grade II*) The home of Victorian novelist Elizabeth Gaskell has been brought back to life following a lengthy local campaign costing £2.5 million, which included grant aid from English Heritage. Through a constructive conservation project led by the Manchester Historic Buildings Trust, the site has been removed from the At Risk register and is now open to the public. The restored interior not only provides office and community space but now evokes the atmosphere of the 1860s when MrsRead more

5 Iconic Sites Added to this Year’s Heritage at Risk Register

1. Eastbourne Pier, Sussex One of the most important piers of its kind in the country, Eastbourne Pier was added to the Heritage at Risk Register this summer after a devastating fire engulfed about a third of the structure and destroyed the landward arcade building. English Heritage is giving expert advice on the rebuild and is pleased the eastern walkway has now reopened helping local businesses at the end of the pier. 2. Shipwreck Hazardous, West Sussex coast An important protected wreck site added to theRead more

70 Years On: The Remains of Operation Neptune

This year is the 70th anniversary of D-day, which began on 6th June 1944. As part of the commemoration English Heritage is conducting a review of the remains of Operation Neptune, the cross-Channel assault phase of the invasion Operation Overlord. Planning for the invasion and the liberation of Europe began as early as 1942 and Operation Neptune was placed under the command of Admiral Bertram Ramsey, who had played a large part in the evacuation of troops from Dunkirk in 1940. TheRead more

8 Interesting Facts about Coastguard Stations

1. The initial purpose of the Coastguard was revenue protection, but this changed during the 19th century to that of naval reserve. 2. In the 1920s life-saving responsibilities became the Coastguard’s primary role, along with coastal observation. 3. Over the last two centuries the number of stations has fluctuated, reaching a peak of over 500 in the early 20th century. 4. The more isolated stations were required to be self-sufficient and in addition to the accommodation and storage facilities there mightRead more

6 Stunning Lighthouses (From 1AD to the Present Day)

Trinity House, the lighthouse authority for England and Wales, celebrates its 500th anniversary today after being granted a charter by Henry VIII on 20 May, 1514. To commemorate this day, let me take you on a quick tour of England’s rich lighthouse heritage. The earliest recorded lighthouse in England, still standing, although disused for centuries, is the Roman pharos at Dover, hinting by its presence at possible Roman wrecks off the Kent coast. Medieval structures bear witness to the shipwrecks which causedRead more

Oceanic Climate Change and Underwater Archaeology

Mark Dunkley is a marine archaeologist within English Heritage’s Designation Department and is responsible for the protection of underwater archaeological sites. His work is receiving international interest for developing new and innovative ways to conserve and manage these fragile remains.  The identification of major environmental threats to cultural heritage and the built environment has been one of the core strands of our National Heritage Protection Plan with work already begun to assess the potential effects of climate change on theRead more