Air Raid: The Tragedy of Upper North Street School

On this day one hundred years ago – 13 June 1917 – Upper North Street School, Poplar, London, was bombed in the first daylight air raid of the First World War.Read 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

Painting Over a Masterpiece

It all started with a phone call. The caller was Ian Crick-Smith of Lincoln University, an expert on the decoration of historic houses who’s worked with English Heritage for many years. In preparation for much needed repairs and improvements at Kenwood House, we had commissioned research into the decorative finishes of the outside and some of the ground-floor interior rooms. What Ian had to tell me was something too serious to ignore: one of the most famous rooms in EnglandRead 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

Historic Window Glass: The Use of Chemical Analysis to Date Manufacture

David Dungworth works for the Heritage Protection Department and is part of the team that provides English Heritage with specialist skills in heritage science. This post is based on his research on historic window glass, where the primary aim is to improve the conservation of historic glass by providing a means to identify which panes are original and which are later replacements.  I work in a laboratory where we use techniques from materials science to study artefacts and materials, fromRead more

Protect and Survive: preserving Cold War heritage

Fifty years ago this October, the world stood on the brink of nuclear war. On the 14th October 1962, United States spy planes flying over Cuba spotted sites being prepared for Soviet nuclear-armed missiles which could threaten large areas of the USA. To prevent further Soviet reinforcements, the United States president John F Kennedy ordered a naval quarantine of Cuba. How would the Soviets react? Would the United States attack Cuba?  Later, as newspapers reported the developing crisis, people onRead more