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

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

The Hidden History of Apethorpe

The great country house of Apethorpe in Northamptonshire was sadly dilapidated in 2004, when English Heritage (now Historic England) began a programme of urgent repairs. As work progressed, many exciting discoveries were made underneath floorboards, behind modern wall surfaces, inside ancient roofs, or hiding in plain sight. Every single finding, no matter how small, deepened our understanding of the property and its illustrious owners.Read more

Workshop of the World: 5 Great New Uses for England’s Industrial Heritage

Grade I and II* industrial buildings are three times more likely to be at risk than other types of historic building of the same grade. Yet re-using industrial buildings can bring great economic benefits while providing stimulating spaces to live and work in.Read more

6 Places that Inspired Alice in Wonderland

The surreal world of Wonderland has captured the imagination of little and big kids everywhere since Alice’s adventures were first published in 1865. The range of country-wide events to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the book are as eclectic and imaginative as Wonderland itself, from walking tours and Mad Hatter’s tea parties to interactive performances where the audience take on Alice’s journey and become part of the story.Read more

The Changing Face of the High Street: Decline and Revival

A new report demonstrates that embracing historic character makes for a popular high street, Tim Brennan, our Senior Regeneration Advisor, discusses how councils can identify and embrace historic character to sensitively sow the seeds of a successful development scheme. Almost everyone will be familiar with the issues currently facing retailers and those involved in managing our high streets – the success of out of town shopping and the growth of online retailing has had very obvious effects on the health ofRead more

New Highlights from the National Heritage List

David Garrard and Esther Godfrey are designation advisers at English Heritage, where their daily work involves advising the Department for Culture, Media and Sport on buildings and sites being considered for listing, scheduling and other forms of statutory protection. They are joint editors of the Designation Yearbook 2012-13. ‘So, what do you do at English Heritage?’ ‘I’m one of the people who help decide which buildings should be listed.’ ‘Oh… There can’t be many left to list, can there?’ If youRead more