In Suburbia: Cottage Exhibitions

During the 20th century a number of houses have been built for demonstration purposes as much as occupation. One idea that caught the public imagination was for an area of dwellings in a variety of designs that could be visited as a temporary exhibition. The purpose of such displays was often to show examples of well-designed, low-cost housing or showcase innovation in planning and building methods and materials. There were precedents for this kind of display but it was theRead more

Innovation and the Country House

When you visit a country house open to the public, look beyond the elaborate plasterwork, elegant furniture or collections of Old Masters and ask how the family and their servants lived from day to day in such houses. Innovative technological advances of the time where adopted, and can still be found on display, particularly in those country homes which have now opened up their servants’ quarters to the visiting public. Here are 6 objects which contributed to comfortable living:  Written byRead more

Why I get excited about Heritage

Beth McHattie joined English Heritage in 1996 from Sotheby’s where she had been Head of Corporate Press. As Head of Media, her role is to use all forms of communication to inspire as many people as possible to share English Heritage’s aims and to value, care for and enjoy the heritage around them. “A truly happy day!”, that is how one of our guests summed up the feeling after the third annual English Heritage Angel Awards ceremony yesterday as weRead more

Bring Your Home’s History to Life

From the research she was able to carry out locally and online, Kate Bevan paints a fascinating story of her home, the first inhabitants, and the beginnings of Swindon. In my last post I wrote about discovering who used to live in my house in Swindon in the first years after it was built, c1877. I was particularly interested in the Cannon family, who had moved into the house around 1890. Joseph, his wife Louisa, and their six children. By lookingRead more

Finding your home’s history: Part II

Last month’s Finding Your Home’s History proved to be very popular among our readers. So much so that our Cataloguing Team Leader Kate Bevan has agreed to write a total of four installments, each post detailing on how she set about discovering her home’s past. In my last post I began to look at the history of my house in Swindon. By looking at maps of the town from the 19th century, and the title deeds of the house, I found thatRead more

Britain’s Secret Homes

Ed Taylor has been an Executive Producer for ITV Studios for two years after several years at the BBC as a Head of Development for Factual. His credits for development and/or producing include Britain’s Secret Treasures for ITV, Secret Britain for BBC 1, How to Read a Church for BBC 4 and The Hairy Bikers: Mums Know Best for BBC 2. For most of us ‘home’, wherever that may be, is the most important place in our lives. It’s whereRead more