English Heritage

English Heritage (officially the English Heritage Trust) is a charity that manages over 400 historic monuments, buildings and places. These include prehistoric sites, medieval castles, Roman forts and country houses. The charity states that it uses these properties to ‘bring the story of England to life for over 10 million people each year’.

English Heritage
English Heritage's logo
MottoStep into England’s story
PredecessorThe Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission for England, also known as English Heritage
Formation1 April 2015;
Preceding English Heritage government agency, formed 1983
Registration no.1140351
HeadquartersThe Engine House, Swindon
Membership (2014/15[1][2])
1.34 million
Chief Executive
Kate Mavor (From 5 May 2015)
Sir Tim Laurence
Revenue (2014/15)
£74.5 million[1]
Expenses (2014/15)£176.2 million[1]
Staff (2015)
Volunteers (2014/15)

Within its portfolio are Stonehenge, Dover Castle, Tintagel Castle and the best preserved parts of Hadrian's Wall. English Heritage also manages the London Blue Plaques scheme, which links influential historical figures to particular buildings.

When originally formed in 1983, English Heritage was the operating name of an executive non-departmental public body of the British Government, officially titled the Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission for England, that ran the national system of heritage protection and managed a range of historic properties.[3] It was created to combine the roles of existing bodies that had emerged from a long period of state involvement in heritage protection. In 1999 the organisation merged with the Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England and the National Monuments Record, bringing together resources for the identification and survey of England's historic environment.

On 1 April 2015, English Heritage was divided into two parts: Historic England, which inherited the statutory and protection functions of the old organisation, and the new English Heritage Trust, a charity that would operate the historic properties, and which took on the English Heritage operating name and logo.[4][3][5] The British government gave the new charity an £80 million grant to help establish it as an independent trust, although the historic properties remained in the ownership of the state.


Non-departmental public body

Over the centuries, what is now called 'Heritage' has been the responsibility of a series of state departments. There was the 'Kings Works' after the Norman Conquest; the Office of Works (1378–1832); the Office of Woods, Forests, Land Revenues and Works (1832–1851); and the Ministry of Works (1851–1962). Responsibility subsequently transferred to the Ministry of Public Building and Works (1962–1970) then to the Department of the Environment (1970–1997) and now the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).[6] The state's legal responsibility for the historic environment goes back to the Ancient Monuments Protection Act 1882.[7] Central government subsequently developed several systems of heritage protection for different types of 'assets', introducing listing for buildings after WW2 and conservation areas in the 1960s.

In 1983 Secretary of State for the Environment Michael Heseltine gave national responsibility for the historic environment to a semi‑autonomous agency (or 'quango') to operate under ministerial guidelines and to government policy. The Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission was formed under the terms of the National Heritage Act 1983 on 1 April 1984.[2][8] The 1983 Act also dissolved the bodies that had previously provided independent advice – the Ancient Monuments Board for England and the Historic Buildings Council for England and incorporated these functions in the new body. Soon after, the commission gained the operating name of English Heritage by its first Chairman, Lord Montagu of Beaulieu.[3]

English Heritage Commemorative Plaques Conference (4368209823)
English Heritage commemorative plaques conference, 2010. English Heritage began administering the London Blue Plaques in 1986.

A national register of historic parks and gardens, (e.g. Rangers House, Greenwich) was set up in 1984,[9] and a register for historic battlefields (e.g. the Battle of Tewkesbury) was created in March 1995.[10] 'Registration' is a material consideration in the planning process. In April 1999 English Heritage merged with the Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England (RCHME)[11] and the National Monuments Record (NMR), bringing together resources for the identification and survey of England's historic environment. By adoption this included responsibility for the national record of archaeological sites from the Ordnance Survey; the National Library of Aerial Photographs, and two million RAF and Ordnance Survey aerial photographs. These, together with other nationally important external acquisitions, meant that English Heritage was one of the largest publicly accessible archives in the UK: 2.53 million records are available online, including more than 426,000 images. In 2010–2011 it recorded 4.3 million unique online user sessions[12] and over 110,000 people visited NMR exhibitions held around the country in 2009/10.[13] In 2012 the section responsible for archive collections was renamed the English Heritage Archive.

As a result of the National Heritage Act 2002, English Heritage acquired administrative responsibility for historic wrecks and submerged landscapes within 12 miles of the English coast.[14] The administration of the listed building system was transferred from DCMS to English Heritage in 2006. However, actual listing decisions still remained the responsibility of the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, who is required by the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 to approve a list of buildings of special architectural or historic interest.

Following the Public Bodies Reform[15] in 2010, English Heritage was confirmed as the government's statutory adviser on the historic environment, and the largest source of non-lottery grant funding for heritage assets.[16] It was retained on grounds of "performing a technical function which should remain independent from Government". However the department also suffered from budget cuts during the recession of the 2010s resulting in a repairs deficit of £100 million.[5]

Charitable Trust

In June 2013 the British Government announced plans to provide an £80 million grant to enable English Heritage to become a self-financing charity (roughly following the precedent set by the transformation of the nationally owned British Waterways into the Canal & River Trust). The national portfolio of historic properties remain in public ownership, but the new English Heritage will be licensed to manage them.[17][18][19]

The change occurred on 1 April 2015 with the statutory planning and heritage protection functions remaining an independent, non-departmental public body, rebranded as Historic England. The care of the properties in the National Collection and the visitor experience attached to them were transferred to the new English Heritage Trust, although the English Heritage name and logo remains.[4][3] The new trust has a licence to operate the properties until 2023.[20]

National Collection

Stonehenge2007 07 30
Stonehenge, one of English Heritage's most famous sites
Visitors' centre Stonehenge
Stonehenge visitors' centre. Opened in December 2013, over 2 km west of the monument, just off the A360 road in Wiltshire.

English Heritage is the guardian of over 400 sites and monuments, the most famous of which include Stonehenge, Iron Bridge and Dover Castle. Whilst many have an entry charge, more than 250 properties are free to enter[21] including Maiden Castle, Dorset and St Catherine's Oratory.

The sites are part of the portfolio of over 880 historical places across the UK amassed by the British Government between the 1880s and the 1970s to form the National Collection of built and archaeological heritage. (The balance is in the care of Historic Scotland and Cadw.) These sites represent a deliberate attempt by the state in the 19th and early 20th century to take the nation's most significant prehistoric sites and medieval sites, which were no longer in active use, into public ownership.[22] This national property collection performs the same function as pictures in the National Gallery and the archaeological material in the British Museum.

Unlike the National Trust, English Heritage holds few furnished properties. New sites are rarely added to the collection as other charities and institutions are now encouraged to care for them and open them to the public.[22] One recent acquisition, in late 2011, was the Harmondsworth Barn in west London, close to Heathrow airport.

The properties are held by English Heritage under various arrangements. The majority are in the guardianship of the Secretary of State for the Department for Culture, Media and Sport with the freehold being retained by the owner. The remaining properties are either owned by English Heritage, other government departments or the Crown Estate.[13]

In 2013–14 there were 5.73 million visits to staffed sites, with 713,000 free educational visits to sites, collections and tailored learning activities and resources.[2]


As a charitable trust, English Heritage relies on the income generated from admission fees to its properties, membership fees and trading income from (e.g.) catering, holiday cottages and shops. It also has income from fundraising and grants. To ease the transition, the government has supplied £80 million a year until 2023 to cover the backlog of maintenance to the sites in English Heritage's care.[23]

Previously, when English Heritage was a non-departmental public body and included the functions of planning, listing, awarding grants, heritage research and advice, most of its funding came from government. In 2013–2014, English Heritage had a total income of £186.55 million of which £99.85 million came from grant-in-aid, with the remaining £86.7 million from earned sources. This included £17.47 million from property admissions, £14.96 million from catering and retail, £22.91 million from membership and £26.39 million from donations and grants.[2]

The trust's financial plan sees the annual requirement for subsidy being cut from £15.6 million in 2015/16 to £10.1 million in 2020/21 and zero in 2022/23.[23]


Members of the public are encouraged to join English Heritage as "members". Membership provides benefits such as free admission to its properties and member-only events as well as reduced-cost admission to associated properties.[24] Members also get access for free or reduced cost to properties managed by Cadw in Wales, Historic Scotland, the Office of Public Works in the Republic of Ireland, Manx National Heritage on the Isle of Man and Heritage New Zealand.[25] In 2014/15 there were 1.34 million members.[1] However membership does not convey voting rights or influence over the way English Heritage is run.

Participation in consultations and web-based surveys by English Heritage is not restricted to its membership.[26] It invites various groups and members of the public to give views on specific issues, most notably in recent years about the Stonehenge road tunnel project proposals.


The organisation welcomes volunteers. Roles range from room stewarding, running education workshops and gardening, to curatorial cleaning and research.[27]

In 2014/15 the number of regular volunteers reached 1,872 up from 1,473 in 2013/14.[2][1]

Management and governance

142 Holborn Bars, London
English Heritage's London office at Holborn Bars.

English Heritage is governed by a Trustee Board who set the strategic direction of the organisation and ensure that the organisation delivers its goals and objectives. It is led by the Chairman, currently Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence. Other trustees are Alex Balfour, Vicky Barnsley OBE, Sukie Hemming, Ronald Hutton, Kate James-Weed, Sir Laurie Magnus, Ian McCaig, Malcolm Reading, Sarah Staniforth, James Twining and Charles Gurassa.[28]

Operational management is delegated to the chief executive, Kate Mavor who began on 5 May 2015 after moving from the National Trust for Scotland.[28] The chief executive is supported by an Executive Board of eight directors.[28]

In 2013/14, prior to becoming a charity, English Heritage employed 2,578 staff.[2]

Blue plaque

Blue plaque Hendrix
A typical English Heritage "blue plaque", here marking the former London residence of guitarist Jimi Hendrix at 23 Brook Street.

English Heritage has administered the blue plaque scheme in London since 1986. These recognise places important to people of significance in the capital and remain the responsibility of English Heritage following the transfer to the voluntary sector in 2015.[29][30]

For a short period English Heritage trialled plaques outside of London. Plaques have been placed in Liverpool, Birmingham and elsewhere. The scheme was discontinued.

Many other plaques have been created throughout the UK (including London) by town councils, district councils, civic societies, historical societies, fan clubs, companies, and individuals. These are not managed or require approval from English Heritage. An open register is available at Open Plaques.


English Heritage sites in Cornwall

In 1999 a pressure group, the Revived Cornish Stannary Parliament, wrote to English Heritage asking them to remove all signs bearing their name from Cornish sites by July 1999 as they regarded the ancient sites as Cornish heritage, not English. Over a period of eleven months members of the Cornish Stannary removed 18 signs and a letter was sent to English Heritage saying "The signs have been confiscated and held as evidence of English cultural aggression in Cornwall. Such racially motivated signs are deeply offensive and cause distress to many Cornish people". On 18 January 2002, at Truro Crown Court, after the prosecution successfully applied for a Public Immunity Certificate to suppress defence evidence (these are normally issued in cases involving national security), three members of the group agreed to return the signs and pay £4,500 in compensation to English Heritage and to be bound over to keep the peace. In return, the prosecution dropped charges of conspiracy to cause criminal damage.[31]

In 2011 Conservative MP George Eustice stated that Cornish heritage "is not English" and that there is "a growing feeling that Cornwall should have its own heritage organisation, taking over from English Heritage."[32] He suggests that English heritage be replaced "with a Cornish Heritage group, just like they have for instance in Wales and Scotland."[33] The then Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt was called upon to give cash to a new autonomous body in Cornwall by "top slicing" English Heritage's budget.[34]

Fortress House

Fortress House: the former London headquarters of English Heritage at 23 Savile Row, now demolished

In 2006, The Secretary of State at the DCMS issued a certificate of exemption from listing for Fortress House, the then English Heritage headquarters.[35] In 2009, it was demolished and the site redeveloped for a commercial office building.[36]


In 2010 the organisation sent an email to open access photograph agency fotoLibra, attempting to ban the unauthorised commercial use of photographs of Stonehenge. A subsequent statement of regret was issued, clarifying that "We do not control the copyright of all images of Stonehenge and have never tried to do so." The organisation added that they request that commercial photographers pay fees and abide by certain conditions.[37]

See also

Similar organisations


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "English Heritage Annual Report and Accounts 2014/15" (PDF). Historic England. 14 July 2015. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2015-10-10. Retrieved 2016-02-20.
  2. ^ a b c d e f "English Heritage Annual Report and Accounts 2013/14". Historic England. Historic England. Archived from the original on 2015-04-13. Retrieved 6 April 2015.
  3. ^ a b c d "Our History". English Heritage. English Heritage Trust. Retrieved 6 April 2015.
  4. ^ a b "New Era for English Heritage". English Heritage. English Heritage Trust. Retrieved 6 April 2015.
  5. ^ a b Lean, Geoffrey (28 February 2015). "Does our history have a future in the hands of the English Heritage Trust?". The Telegraph. Retrieved 6 April 2015.
  6. ^ English Heritage leaflet "The evolution of the National Monument Record"
  7. ^ "AMA-1882 Ancient Monuments Act". Archived from the original on 17 August 2011. Retrieved 13 May 2011.
  8. ^ "National Heritage Act 1983". Retrieved 13 May 2011.
  9. ^ Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission for England: "Report and Accounts 1983–1985" p26
  10. ^ English Heritage Annual Report and Accounts "Working in Partnership" 1994/1995 p 6 & 41
  11. ^ Conservation Bulletin, Issue 35, April 1999
  12. ^ "English Heritage Annual Report 2010-2011". English Heritage. Retrieved 15 July 2011.
  13. ^ a b English Heritage 2009–2010 Annual Report and Accounts
  14. ^ "National Heritage Act 2002". Retrieved 13 May 2011.
  15. ^ "Public Bodies Reform – Proposals For Change" (PDF). Retrieved 13 May 2011.
  16. ^ "Historic Environment". Retrieved 13 May 2011.
  17. ^ "£80 Million Boost for Heritage". English Heritage. 26 June 2013. Retrieved 4 July 2013.
  18. ^ "English Heritage to become a charitable trust". Salon: Society of Antiquaries of London Online Newsletter. 301. 1 July 2013.
  19. ^ "Measure for Treasure: Dr Simon Thurley, head of English Heritage, on philanthropy, funding and the future of heritage". PrimeResi.com. Retrieved 24 September 2013.
  20. ^ "Historic England and the English Heritage Trust". Historic England. Historic England. Retrieved 6 April 2015.
  21. ^ "See English Heritage history for free". Retrieved 10 May 2011.
  22. ^ a b "English Heritage Information Pack 2010". Retrieved 10 May 2011.
  23. ^ a b "Our Priorities". English Heritage. English Heritage Trust. Archived from the original on 2015-09-11. Retrieved 6 April 2015.
  24. ^ "Join". English Heritage. English Heritage Trust. Retrieved 6 April 2015.
  25. ^ "Other Associated Attractions". English Heritage. English Heritage Trust. Retrieved 6 April 2015.
  26. ^ "Consultations". English Heritage. Retrieved 6 May 2011.
  27. ^ Volunteer. English Heritage. Retrieved on 7 April 2015.
  28. ^ a b c "Our People". English Heritage. English Heritage Trust. Retrieved 7 April 2015.
  29. ^ "The commemoration of historians under the blue plaque scheme in London". Retrieved 16 May 2011.
  30. ^ "Local Government Act 1985, Schedule 2 Listed buildings, conservation areas and ancient monuments". Retrieved 16 May 2011.
  31. ^ "Historic signs case trio bound over". BBC News. 18 January 2002. Retrieved 17 March 2013.
  32. ^ "Heritage is not English; it's ours". This is Cornwall. 29 September 2011. Retrieved 17 March 2013.
  33. ^ "Cornish MP is critical of English Heritage". BBC News. 11 October 2011. Retrieved 17 March 2013.
  34. ^ "MP calls for 'Cornish Heritage' to replace English body". This is Cornwall. 11 October 2011. Archived from the original on 13 October 2013. Retrieved 17 March 2013.
  35. ^ Joseph Mirwitch (May 2006). "Fortress House Threatened". The Twentieth Century Society. Archived from the original on 10 March 2012. Retrieved 17 March 2013.
  36. ^ "A new suit on Savile Row". Mace. Archived from the original on 25 November 2010. Retrieved 17 March 2013.
  37. ^ Cheesman, Chris (22 October 2010). "Stonehenge bosses 'regret' photography ban (update)". Amateur Photographer. Archived from the original on 18 March 2012. Retrieved 27 October 2011. The storm centred on a message sent to picture agency fotoLibra which read: 'We are sending you an email regarding images of Stonehenge on your fotoLibra website. [...] The statement, published on the English Heritage website, adds: 'We do not control the copyright of all images of Stonehenge and have never tried to do so. [...] 'If a commercial photographer enters the land within our care with the intention of taking a photograph of the monument for financial gain, we ask that they pay a fee and abide by certain conditions.

Further reading

  • Thurley, Simon (2013). Men from the Ministry: How Britain Saved its Heritage. New Haven and London: Yale University Press. ISBN 978-0-300-19572-9.

External links

Blue plaque

A blue plaque is a permanent sign installed in a public place in the United Kingdom and elsewhere to commemorate a link between that location and a famous person, event, or former building on the site, serving as a historical marker. The term is used in the United Kingdom in two different senses. It may be used narrowly and specifically to refer to the "official" scheme administered by English Heritage, and currently restricted to sites within Greater London; or it may be used less formally to encompass a number of similar schemes administered by organisations throughout the UK.

The "official" scheme traces its origins to that launched in 1866 in London, on the initiative of the politician William Ewart, to mark the homes and workplaces of famous people. It has been administered successively by the Society of Arts (1866–1901), the London County Council (1901–1965), the Greater London Council (1965–1986) and English Heritage (1986 to date). It remains focused on London (now defined as Greater London), although between 1998 and 2005, under a trial programme since discontinued, 34 plaques were erected elsewhere in England. The first such scheme in the world, it has directly or indirectly provided the inspiration and model for many others.

Many other plaque schemes have since been initiated in the United Kingdom. Some are restricted to a specific geographical area, others to a particular theme of historical commemoration. They are administered by a range of bodies including local authorities, civic societies, residents' associations and other organisations such as the Transport Trust, the Royal Society of Chemistry, the Music Hall Guild of Great Britain and America and the British Comic Society. The plaques erected are made in a variety of designs, shapes, materials and colours: some are blue, others are not. However, the term "blue plaque" is often used informally to encompass all such schemes.

There are also commemorative plaque schemes throughout the world such as those in Paris, Rome, Oslo, Dublin; and in other cities in Australia, Canada, the Philippines, Russia and the United States. The forms these take vary, and they are more likely to be known as historical markers.

Carisbrooke Castle

Carisbrooke Castle is a historic motte-and-bailey castle located in the village of Carisbrooke (near Newport), Isle of Wight, England. Charles I was imprisoned at the castle in the months prior to his trial.

Dover Castle

Dover Castle is a medieval castle in Dover, Kent, England. It was founded in the 11th century and has been described as the "Key to England" due to its defensive significance throughout history. It is the largest castle in England.

Grade II* listed buildings in Brighton and Hove

There are 70 Grade II* listed buildings in the city of Brighton and Hove, England. The city, on the English Channel coast approximately 52 miles (84 km) south of London, was formed as a unitary authority in 1997 by the merger of the neighbouring towns of Brighton and Hove. Queen Elizabeth II granted city status in 2000.

In England, a building or structure is defined as "listed" when it is placed on a statutory register of buildings of "special architectural or historic interest" by the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, a Government department, in accordance with the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990. English Heritage, a non-departmental public body, acts as an agency of this department to administer the process and advise the department on relevant issues. There are three grades of listing status. Grade I, the highest, is defined as being of "exceptional interest"; Grade II* is used for "particularly important buildings of more than special interest"; and Grade II, the lowest, is used for buildings of "special interest".Brighton was founded on top of the sea-facing cliffs where the South Downs meet the English Channel. A series of valleys allowed transport routes to develop towards Lewes, London and other important settlements. Although Neolithic settlement has been confirmed, the Anglo-Saxons were the first permanent settlers; the population was about 400 by the time of the Domesday survey in 1086. Its neighbour Hove, on flatter, more fertile land to the west, developed concurrently but independently: its existence was recorded in 1288, and two separate prebends (similar to benefices) existed by 1291. Fishing, farming and smuggling drove the economy, but decline set in during the Middle Ages and persisted until the 19th century. Coastal flooding destroyed buildings on many occasions, the parish church fell into ruins, and the population—almost all poor—numbered about 100 in 1801.Brighton became fashionable as a holiday destination and health resort in the mid-18th century, and royal patronage (particularly by the flamboyant Prince Regent) increased its popularity with high society and the upper classes. Day-trippers and longer-term visitors from other social classes soon followed, and by the early 19th century the town was Britain's foremost seaside resort. Developments such as Royal Crescent, Regency Square, Oriental Place and Park Crescent characterised the bold architectural vision of the town's new residents; the design triumvirate of Amon Wilds, Amon Henry Wilds and Charles Busby were instrumental in realising these plans. Hove's fortunes improved in line with Brighton's success, and developments such as Palmeira Mansions and Sir Isaac Goldsmid's Adelaide Crescent covered the fields between the ancient village of Hove and Brighton's continuous westward expansion.The Vicar of Brighton, Rev. Henry Michell Wagner—a wealthy, progressive clergyman with strong Anglo-Catholic views and an interest in architecture—and his son and successor Rev. Arthur Wagner were responsible for an array of new churches throughout Brighton and Hove (especially in poorer residential areas); many are listed at Grade I, and the Grade II*-listed examples of St Martin's and St Paul's merely add to a stock of Victorian places of worship which has been described as one of the best outside London. Elsewhere during the Victorian era, the former parish churches of both Brighton and Hove were rebuilt; an elaborate synagogue was provided for the Jewish population; Roman Catholic worship became established at the Classical-style St John the Baptist's Church; a new parish church was established in the form of Charles Barry's St Peter's; and several other churches were established.Both towns were incorporated as boroughs: Brighton in 1854, Hove in 1898. Expansion in the 20th century, as the urban area became a large regional centre, resulted in ancient villages being absorbed into the boroughs. Hangleton, West Blatchington, Ovingdean, Rottingdean and others had historic buildings and long-established churches of their own; by 1928, Acts of Parliament had brought them into "Greater Brighton and Hove". In 1997, the towns were officially united as a unitary authority; three years later, city status was secured.Some listings include contributory fixtures such as surrounding walls or railings in front of the building. These are summarised by notes alongside the building name.

Grade I listed buildings in Somerset

The Grade I listed buildings in Somerset, England, demonstrate the history and diversity of its architecture. The ceremonial county of Somerset consists of a non-metropolitan county, administered by Somerset County Council, which is divided into five districts, and two unitary authorities. The districts of Somerset are West Somerset, South Somerset, Taunton Deane, Mendip and Sedgemoor. The two administratively independent unitary authorities, which were established on 1 April 1996 following the breakup of the county of Avon, are North Somerset and Bath and North East Somerset. These unitary authorities include areas that were once part of Somerset before the creation of Avon in 1974.In the United Kingdom, the term listed building refers to a building or other structure officially designated as being of special architectural, historical, or cultural significance, Grade I structures are those considered to be "buildings of exceptional interest". Listing was begun by a provision in the Town and Country Planning Act 1947. Once listed, strict limitations are imposed on the modifications allowed to a building's structure or fittings. In England, the authority for listing under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 rests with English Heritage, a non-departmental public body sponsored by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport; local authorities have a responsibility to regulate and enforce the planning regulations.

Each of the districts include Norman- or medieval-era churches, many of which are included in the Somerset towers, a collection of distinctive, mostly spireless Gothic architecture church towers. The prolific construction of the towers—some started before 1360—was typically accomplished by a master mason and a small team of itinerant masons, supplemented by local parish labourers, according to Poyntz Wright. But other authors reject this model, suggesting instead that leading architects designed the parish church towers based on early examples of Perpendicular design and ornamentation developed for cathedrals—their most important commissions. Contract builders carried out the plans, adding a distinctive mix of innovative details and decorations as new designs emerged over the years. These are included in the List of towers in Somerset.

Apart from the churches, each area has its own characteristics. Most of Bath's Grade I listed buildings are made from the local golden-coloured Bath Stone, and date from the 18th and 19th centuries. Their dominant architectural style is Georgian. In the Mendip district, the greatest concentrations of these cluster around the cathedral and abbey in Wells and in Glastonbury. North Somerset features bridges and piers along with a selection of Manor houses. The Sedgemoor district has many buildings related to trade and commerce centred on Bridgwater; while in South Somerset abbeys, priories and farmhouses predominate. Taunton Deane includes the defensive Taunton Castle, similarly Dunster Castle and related buildings in Dunster feature in West Somerset.

Grime's Graves

Grime's Graves is a large Neolithic flint mining complex in Norfolk, England. It lies 8 km (5.0 mi) north east from Brandon, Suffolk in the East of England. It was worked between c. 2600 and c. 2300 BC, although production may have continued well into the Bronze and Iron Ages (and later) owing to the low cost of flint compared with metals. Flint was much in demand for making polished stone axes in the Neolithic period. Much later, when flint had been replaced by metal tools, flint nodules were in demand for other uses, such as for building and as strikers for muskets.

The scheduled monument extends over an area of some 37 ha (91 acres) and consists of at least 433 shafts dug into the natural chalk to reach seams of flint. The largest shafts are more than 14 m (46 ft) deep and 12 m (39 ft) in diameter at the surface. It has been calculated that more than 2,000 tonnes of chalk had to be removed from the larger shafts, taking 20 men around five months, before stone of sufficient quality was reached. An upper 'topstone' and middle 'wallstone' seam of flint was dug through on the way to the deeper third 'floorstone' seam which most interested the miners. The site is managed by English Heritage and can be visited.

The site is also a biological and geological Site of Special Scientific Interest and a Geological Conservation Review site. It is part of the Breckland Special Area of Conservation and Special Protection Area.

Hadrian's Wall

Hadrian's Wall (Latin: Vallum Aelium), also called the Roman Wall, Picts' Wall, or Vallum Hadriani in Latin, was a defensive fortification in the Roman province of Britannia, begun in AD 122 in the reign of the emperor Hadrian. It ran from the banks of the River Tyne near the North Sea to the Solway Firth on the Irish Sea, and was the northern limit of the Roman Empire, immediately north of which were the lands of the northern Ancient Britons, including the Picts.

It had a stone base and a stone wall. There were milecastles with two turrets in between. There was a fort about every five Roman miles. From north to south, the wall comprised a ditch, wall, military way and vallum, another ditch with adjoining mounds. It is thought the milecastles were staffed with static garrisons, whereas the forts had fighting garrisons of infantry and cavalry. In addition to the wall's defensive military role, its gates may have been customs posts.A significant portion of the wall still stands and can be followed on foot along the adjoining Hadrian's Wall Path. The largest Roman archaeological feature anywhere, it runs a total of 73 miles (117.5 kilometres) in northern England. Regarded as a British cultural icon, Hadrian's Wall is one of Britain's major ancient tourist attractions. It was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987. In comparison, the Antonine wall, thought by some to be based on Hadrian's wall (the Gillam hypothesis), was not declared a World Heritage site until 2008.It is a common misconception that Hadrian's Wall marks the boundary between England and Scotland. In fact Hadrian's Wall lies entirely within England and has never formed the Anglo-Scottish border. While it is less than 0.6 mi (1.0 km) south of the border with Scotland in the west at Bowness-on-Solway, in the east at Wallsend it is as much as 68 miles (109 km) away.

Historic England

Historic England (officially the Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission for England) is an executive non-departmental public body of the British Government sponsored by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). It is tasked with protecting the historical environment of England by preserving and listing historic buildings, ancient monuments and advising central and local government.

The body was officially created by the National Heritage Act 1983, and operated from April 1984 to April 2015 under the name of English Heritage. In 2015, following the changes to English Heritage's structure that moved the protection of the National Heritage Collection into the voluntary sector in the English Heritage Trust, the body that remained was rebranded as Historic England. Historic England has a similar remit to and complements the work of Natural England which aims to protect the natural environment.

The body also inherited the Historic England Archive from the old English Heritage, and projects linked to the archive such as Britain from Above, which saw the archive work with the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales and the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland to digitise, catalogue and put online 96,000 of the oldest Aerofilms images. The archive also holds various nationally important collections and the results of older projects such as the work of the National Buildings Record, later absorbed by the Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England and the Images of England project which set out to create a freely accessible online database of the 370,000 listed properties in England at a snapshot in time at the turn of the millennium.

Images of England

Images of England is an online photographic record of all the listed buildings in England at the date of February 2002. The archive gives access to over 323,000 colour images, each of which is matched with the item’s listed designation architectural description.This ‘snapshot’ is not an up-to-date record as it does not include all listed buildings, only those that were designated as at February 2001 and it is not updated as listing details change.

Kenwood House

Kenwood House (also known as the Iveagh Bequest) is a former stately home, in Hampstead, London, on the northern boundary of Hampstead Heath.

The house was originally constructed in the 17th century and served as a residence for the Earls of Mansfield through the 18th and 19th centuries. Part of the estate was bought by the Guinness family in the early 20th century, and the whole property and grounds came under ownership of the London County Council and was open to the public by the end of the 1920s. It remains a popular local tourist attraction.

List of English Heritage blue plaques in London

This is a list of the approximately 940 blue plaques placed by English Heritage and its predecessors in the boroughs of London, the City of Westminster, and the City of London.

The scheme was originally administered by the Royal Society of Arts from 1876 to 1901, and was taken over by the London County Council (LCC) from 1965. The Greater London Council (GLC) took over the scheme in 1965 from its predecessor, the LCC. since the abolition of the GLC in 1986, the blue plaque scheme has been administered by English Heritage.

List of English Heritage blue plaques in the City of Westminster

This is a complete list of the 309 blue plaques placed by English Heritage and its predecessors in the City of Westminster in London.

List of English Heritage blue plaques in the London Borough of Camden

This is a list of the 169 English Heritage blue plaques in the London Borough of Camden.

List of English Heritage blue plaques in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea

This is a complete list of the 177 blue plaques placed by English Heritage and its predecessors in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea.

At inception in 1876 the scheme was originally administered by the Royal Society of Arts, being taken over by the London County Council (LCC) in 1901. The Greater London Council (GLC) took over the scheme in 1965 from its predecessor. Since the abolition of the GLC in 1986, the blue plaque scheme has been administered by English Heritage.

List of windmills in the United Kingdom

This is a list of windmills and windpumps in the United Kingdom.

Nine Ladies

Nine Ladies is a Bronze Age stone circle located on Stanton Moor, Derbyshire, England. Part of the Peak District National Park, the site is owned by English Heritage and is often visited by tourists and hill walkers. Druids and pagans occasionally celebrate summer solstice there.

Osborne House

Osborne House is a former royal residence in East Cowes, Isle of Wight, United Kingdom. The house was built between 1845 and 1851 for Queen Victoria and Prince Albert as a summer home and rural retreat. Prince Albert designed the house himself in the style of an Italian Renaissance palazzo. The builder was Thomas Cubitt, the London architect and builder whose company built the main façade of Buckingham Palace for the royal couple in 1847. An earlier smaller house on the site was demolished to make way for a new and far larger house, though the original entrance portico survives as the main gateway to the walled garden.

Queen Victoria died at Osborne House in January 1901. Following her death, the house became surplus to royal requirements and was given to the state, with a few rooms being retained as a private museum to Queen Victoria. From 1903 until 1921 it was used as a junior officer training college for the Royal Navy, known as the Royal Naval College, Osborne. In 1998 training programmes consolidated at the Britannia Royal Naval College, now at Dartmouth, thus vacating Osborne House. The House is now open to the public for tours.

Register of Historic Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest in England

The Register of Historic Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest in England provides a listing and classification system for historic parks and gardens similar to that used for listed buildings. The register is managed by Historic England under the provisions of the National Heritage Act 1983. Over 1,600 sites are listed, ranging from the grounds of large stately homes to small domestic gardens, as well other designed landscapes such as town squares, public parks and cemeteries.


Stonehenge is a prehistoric monument in Wiltshire, England, two miles (3 km) west of Amesbury. It consists of a ring of standing stones, with each standing stone around 13 feet (4.0 m) high, seven feet (2.1 m) wide and weighing around 25 tons. The stones are set within earthworks in the middle of the most dense complex of Neolithic and Bronze Age monuments in England, including several hundred burial mounds.Archaeologists believe it was constructed from 3000 BC to 2000 BC. The surrounding circular earth bank and ditch, which constitute the earliest phase of the monument, have been dated to about 3100 BC. Radiocarbon dating suggests that the first bluestones were raised between 2400 and 2200 BC, although they may have been at the site as early as 3000 BC.One of the most famous landmarks in the United Kingdom, Stonehenge is regarded as a British cultural icon. It has been a legally protected Scheduled Ancient Monument since 1882 when legislation to protect historic monuments was first successfully introduced in Britain. The site and its surroundings were added to UNESCO's list of World Heritage Sites in 1986. Stonehenge is owned by the Crown and managed by English Heritage; the surrounding land is owned by the National Trust.Stonehenge could have been a burial ground from its earliest beginnings. Deposits containing human bone date from as early as 3000 BC, when the ditch and bank were first dug, and continued for at least another five hundred years.The Neolithic Britons who built the monument are genetically distinct from the Modern British. There is evidence to suggest that over 90% of the Neolithic British DNA was overturned by a population from the Lower Rhine characterized by the Bell Beaker culture, who likely spoke an Indo-European language. It is not known if warfare, disease or just continuous large scale immigration caused their replacement.

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