The extraordinary collection of buildings and monuments now in the care of English Heritage began to be amassed in 1882. At that stage heritage was the responsibility of the Office of Works, the government department responsible for architecture and building. In 1913 an Act of Parliament was passed that gave the Office new powers. These were essentially to make a collection of all the greatest sites and buildings that told the story of Britain.
At that stage these were regarded as being prehistoric and medieval remains - country houses and industrial sites were then not really seen as heritage.
By 1933 there were 273 sites in the collection including Stonehenge, Rievaulx Abbey, Carisbrooke Castle and Richborough Roman Fort. Preservation of these important places was, of course, the primary objective, but telling their stories was almost as important. All these places were open to the public and had guidebooks and explanatory signs. Some also sold postcards and even had tea shops.
From small beginnings towards the end of the 19th century, the collection of historic places now managed by English Heritage has grown to over 400, inspired by a determination to put England's heritage ahead of private interest.
Gone are the days when people learned about history simply from reading books. People are increasingly looking for experiences that bring history to life in an engaging way and nothing beats standing on the spot where history happened.
We offer a hands-on experience that will inspire and entertain people of all ages. Our work is informed by enduring values of authenticity, quality, imagination, responsibility and fun. Our vision is that people will experience the story of England where it really happened.
Castle Life In The Town of Bolsover
With spectacular views over Derby shire, the fairy-tale Stuart mansion, Bolsover Castle, was designed to entertain and impress. Its reputation for revelry lives on as we now entertain you and your family. Wander the lavish rooms of the Little Castle, explore the romantic ruined terrace range, and del ight in the views from the wall walk. Start your visit in the exhibition in the Riding House then run wild in ex tens I've grounds (and fun play area). Visits to the castle include special event s for Halloween and Christmas . Ticket prices s tart from £13.90 for adults (free for EH members).
Visiting Northumberland for along Weekend? The navisit to Belsay Hall is Top priority. Not only is the real Castle here but also a grand Hall as well, and to set it all off magnificent gardens as well – truly a great “day out” experience.
The Belsay that visitors see today comprises three distinct but related elements: a medieval castle that was enlarged in the early 17th century, a Greek Revival mansion that superseded it as a family residence at the beginning of the 19th century, and an outstanding garden linking the two buildings. The mansion was built to supersede Belsay Castle and its adjoining earlier hall just a few hundred yards away, and is part of the same estate. Much of this garden was created within the quarries that supplied the stone for the new house. (Text from English Heritage)
LINDISFARNE: Holy Island
Lindisfarne was one of the most important places in Anglo-Saxon England. Its bishops had close links to the Northumbrian kings who ruled from nearby Bamburgh. The monks’guardianship of the shrine of St Cuthbert brought great wealth to the monastery. The architecture of the 12thcentury priory founded on the site of the earlier monastery resembled the great Romanesque cathedral at Durham, visually reinforcing the connection between cathedral and monastery.
Excavations at the priory have produced a remarkable collection of 51 complete or fragmentary Anglo-Saxon carved stones. Many are on display in the site museum. Some of these are grave markers, carrying the name of a man or woman. The names are written in capital letters, like those found in the Lindisfarne Gospels, and some are written in runes.
Visit the ruins for Island views, family fun and museum shopping. (Text from English Heritage)
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