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

5 Things You Need to Know About Listing

Written by Emily Gee, Head of Listing Advice at Historic England 1. How did listing start? Listing emerged as a legal system of protecting England’s most precious buildings during the Second World War.  The first lists were compiled as an emergency measure to identify what should be protected in post-war rebuilding. The next generation of more systematic lists on a geographical (parish) basis were heroic in their scale, but inevitably quite brief in their descriptions and often done from the road,Read more

Ballooning in Bowler Hats: Early Images From Victorian Skies

We have recently acquired the earliest surviving aerial images of England, discovered last year at a car boot sale. They were taken between 1882 and 1892 from a balloon by photographer and balloonistRead more

7 New Discoveries about Stonehenge

Stonehenge and its surrounding landscape have seen an unprecedented amount of research in the last decade. One of the most significant strands of this has been Historic England’s survey of the stones, the surrounding earthworks and the hiddenRead more

Picturing the Blitz: 9 Images of England at War

The National Buildings Record was born in the Blitz; hurriedly created in early 1941 to photograph and document the historic fabric of England before it was lost forever. The Record was a mixture of existing collections gathered together and photographs taken during the war by staff and volunteers.  Read more

England’s Seven Seaside Wonders

Since the 18th century, people have headed to the seaside to improve their health and to enjoy fun with friends. To cater for millions of holidaymakers, specialised buildings and structures were built, ranging from a fantasy palace and Europe’s largest hotel to the oldest rollercoaster in Britain and the longest pier in the world.Read more

Secret Underground Cities: Nottingham

1000 years ago Nottingham was known as Tigguocobauc: the house of caves. It’s likely the first caves were carved beneath the cliff of sandstone on which the city was founded but as the town grew, so did the number of caves beneath it.Read more

Top 5 Heritage Blog Posts of 2014

5.  Lost Railway Stations Earlier this month, we celebrated the release of Simon Parissien’s new book on English Railway stations with a nostalgic look at some of the architectural gems of the railway industry that have been lost.  Many of you expressed amazement at Euston Arch, built in 1838 at a cost of £35,000, and demolished in 1961.Read more

Warbstow Bury: Re-writing the Story of a Cornish Hillfort

Warbstow Bury, a multivallate hillfort in north Cornwall, is  one of the largest and best preserved hillforts in the county. Perhaps not the most well known of Cornwall’s ancient monuments, being ’off the beaten track’ in a countryside parish, but it remains popular with local dog walkers and is easily accessible to passing visitors. In an effort to improve the understanding of Warbstow Bury, we conducted a detailed analytical earthwork survey in October 2013, followed by intensive desk based research, and discovered some intriguingRead more