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04 April 2011

Access the new National Heritage List for England, over 400,000 entries

To access the records and datasets relating to England’s designated heritage you used to have to search various different sources and websites, for example, Listed Buildings Online, Registered Battlefields or Parks and Gardens.

Now you can find them all in one place – on the new National Heritage List for England. You can search, for the first time, all national designation records; buildings, archaeology, landscapes and wreck sites. World Heritage Sites, Certificates of Immunity and Building Preservations Notices are also recorded on the Heritage List.

You can access the new list via the English Heritage website or from the Heritage Gateway where you can cross search the Heritage List against local and national records.

Why the new list?

Since 2002 we’ve been working with the Government, local planning authorities and the wider historic environment sector on improving the way the heritage protection system works in the interests of everyone. This ongoing process, known as Heritage Protection Reform (HPR), has already seen many improvements made to the way we designate and manage the historic environment. Two of the main aims of HPR include:

  • creating a unified approach to the historic environment,
  • making the designation process more open and accessible.

The National Heritage List for England is an important step towards the unified approach, as well as making the data more accessible.

For more information go to

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27 June 2011

Hope you like the improvements we've made to this site
When we launched English Heritage Archives last year we asked for your feedback on the new website. After reviewing the comments we’ve now made the following improvements:-

  • We’ve simplified the ordering process – look for Basket and the trolley symbol to easily order a copy of the photo, file or report you want;
  • We’ve improved the results you get – so you now get all the results for the search term in the one place, in more detail;
  • We’ve re-designed key pages to make them clearer.
English Heritage Archives gives you the ability to search over 1 million catalogue entries describing photographs, plans and drawings of England’s buildings and historic sites.
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19 October 2011

Consett Steel Works, County Durham
Reference Number: AA98/06557 © English Heritage

Find out how to access the Industrial Collections
To help those of you interested in industrial heritage there’s a new guide on the website called Researching the archive collections of English Heritage Industrial Heritage. This explains which archive collections include material relating to industrial sites and processes.

The guide describes what each collection contains (e.g. reports, photographs, plans) and tells you which collections are catalogued. So, for example, if you’re researching coal-mining you’ll be able to see which collections include relevant material. If the collection has been catalogued you can use the English Heritage Archives website to find out what items it contains (such as the image shown here) and how to get access to them.

If a relevant collection is uncatalogued you’ll find information on how to contact us for more details.

The guide is available on the Downloads page.
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20 October 2011

Falcon Inn, 6 Lower Bridge Street, Chester, Cheshire. Taken by Bedford Lemere & Co in 1887.
Reference Number: BL08068 Reproduced by permission of English Heritage

Check out our NEW catalogue entries

We’re continually cataloguing new items from our collections and adding the descriptions to the website. Over the last few months the following catalogue entries have been added. The reference numbers (shown in brackets) will help you when searching.

Early Photographic Print Collection (RBO01)

This collection includes some of the oldest photography of the historic buildings of England. There are some 12,000 photographic prints, pieces of original artwork, printed illustrations and engravings in the collection, with the vast majority of material dating from the late 19th century to the early 20th century, with some later additions.

Bedford Lemere & Co (HBL01)

Over 1000 more Bedford Lemere & Co images from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries have been catalogued. The main subjects covered by the collection include country houses, ships, street scenes and industrial themes, such as warehouses and factories.

Julius Knoop Album (JKA01)

Thirty early black and white photographs of textile warehouses, mills and homes in the Manchester area, relating to the De Jersey Company run by Carl Julius Gerhard Knoop (1822-1893).

RCHME and English Heritage Photography (EHC01)

A wide range of new work by English Heritage photographers has been added to the catalogue, illustrating subjects as diverse as Post–War Architects, Places of Worship at Risk and Egypt in England. At the same time photographs of listed buildings across England taken in 1988 by the Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England (RCHME) photographers, have been fully catalogued for the first time. These cover over 400 buildings, many of which were at risk of substantial alteration or demolition at the time.

English Heritage Plans (EHC01/022)

Cataloguing of plans and drawing relating to English Heritage sites continues, with Easby Abbey, Waltham Abbey, Dover Castle and Titchfield Abbey newly completed along, with a range of sites along Hadrian’s Wall.

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01 October 2012

Britain from Above website
Homepage of the Britain from Above website

Britain from Above website launches


Rare and fragile aerial photos from Aerofilms Collection conserved, digitised and now available online

More than 15,000 images from one of the earliest and most significant collections of aerial photography of the UK have been made freely accessible online to the public for the first time.

English Heritage and the Royal Commissions on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland and Wales launched on the 25th June. The website features some of the oldest and most valuable images of the Aerofilms Collection, a unique and important archive of over 1 million aerial photographs taken between 1919 and 2006. Its chronological and geographical coverage is superb and documents the face of Britain during a period of intense and unparalleled change.

The collection was created by Aerofilms Ltd, a pioneering air survey company set up by First World War veterans FL Wills and C Grahame-White just after the end of WWI in 1919. Wills brought to the partnership knowledge and enthusiasm for air photography. Grahame-White on the other hand was a pioneer aviator and was the first Englishman to qualify for an aviator’s certificate (Aero Club de Paris) and became famous in England four months later when he made the first night-flight during the London-Manchester air race.

The photographs featuring on the website date from 1919 to 1953, and have gone through a painstaking process of conservation and cataloguing. Due to their age and fragility, many of the earliest plate glass negatives were close to being lost forever.

The Aerofilms Collection was acquired for the nation in 2007. With the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Foyle Foundation, English Heritage and the Royal Commissions embarked on a programme to conserve, catalogue and digitise the collection and make it freely available online.

By the end of the project in 2014, 95,000 images taken between 1919 and 1953 will be available online, showing the changing face of modern Britain.



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09 January 2013

English Heritage Aerofilms Collection

Britain from Above

Over 6000 new images added to the Britain from Above website

 We have added a further 6043 images to the Britain from Above website ( this month. We also uploaded over 2000 images in October. This brings the total number of images available online to 25683.

The new images date from between 1920 and 1935. This latest batch includes some fantastic photographs of both the 1927 and 1928 cup finals at Wembley, and images of the first boxing match held at Wembley in 1924, between Tommy Gibbons and Jack Bloomfield.

 The latest batch of photographs covers the length and breadth of England, and includes images of both urban and rural life. Highlights include excellent images of industrial buildings in central Bristol, and beautiful landscape shots of the coastline near Dover.

 The images are freely accessible online. All you need to do to explore the collection is sign up to the website. By signing up you will gain access to thousands of fantastic images dating from between 1919 and 1953. The images cover the whole of England, Scotland and Wales.

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27 March 2013

English Heritage Aerofilms Collection

Britain From Above Book – We Need You
Help us choose the best images for our new book on the history of the Aerofilms Collection

Work is currently underway on a new book showcasing the best images from ‘Britain from Above’.

We want you to add your favourite pics to a new ‘Britain From Above Book group on the Britain from Above website, so that you can play a part in putting the book together. Just add your images, give us some information on the places featured in them, and tell us why you think that they should make the final cut.

Aerofilms represents the only major source of aerial photography of Britain in the first half of the twentieth century – unrivalled in breadth and depth. The book will follow the history of the Collection up to and just beyond the Second World War, telling the fascinating story of the eccentric group of entrepreneurs, adventurers and aviation enthusiasts behind the company, who married the still fledgling technology of flight to the discipline of photography.

This group of showmen and pioneering stalwarts manufactured and sold a potent sense of place and identity to the British people. They were ‘Mad Men’ of the air, their photographs building a picture of ‘Brand Britain’ that still resonates today.

The book is scheduled for release in February 2014 – to coincide with a major ‘Britain from Above’ exhibition programme running across the UK – and is a joint publication between English Heritage and the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland (RCAHMS) and Wales (RCAHMW).

Your knowledge, enthusiasm and insight helps to bring ‘Britain from Above’ to life – so start adding your images today.

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07 May 2013

New additions to Britain from Above

We’ve just added over 8000 new images to the Britain from Above website. This new batch of images dates from 1932 to 1937.

Highlights from this latest upload include photographs of the remains of Iron Age hillforts from across the UK, including Devil’s Dyke near Poynings, Walls hillfort near Chesterton and the Herefordshire Beacon.

In contrast to the ancient hillforts, there are many images of the industrial heritage of the Victorian era, including an excellent set of photographs taken on a flight through the Ironbridge Gorge in Shropshire.  

We’ve also added some beautiful images of ecclesiastical buildings, including the Cathedral’s at Lincoln, Peterborough and Worcester.

In addition, you can see a series of images showing the Whipsnade Lion under construction in 1932.

Please visit to discover the new images for yourselves.

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24 September 2013

Latest news from Britain from Above

We've just added over 6000 new images to the Britain from Above website ( This brings us to a total of over 47,000 images online. The latest upload is incredibly varied. We have images of urban life in the north of England, including some excellent examples of slum clearance in Manchester, and of shipbuilding on the Tyne. EAW002153 is particularly interesting - if you look carefully it is possible to see warships being decommissioned, following the end of the war.

We have many images of Gloucestershire, including some great images of Gloucester Cathedral and also of Tewkesbury surrounded by floodwater in 1947.

There are also many fantastic coastal shots from all around the country, including St Michaels Mount, Cornwall and the Belle Tout Lighthouse at Beachy Head, East Sussex.

Also included in the latest upload are a further 97 unlocated images. Perhaps you can help us to identify their locations?

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11 March 2015

Historic England logo
© Historic England

English Heritage is changing

English Heritage has changed

From the 1st April 2015 you may have noticed some changes to this website. This is because English Heritage has separated into two organisations – Historic England, the public body that looks after England’s historic environment and the English Heritage Trust, a new independent charity that looks after the National Heritage Collection. The Archive will become the Historic England Archive and there will be some changes to this website to reflect this.

You can find out more about the work of Historic England at

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01 October 2015

England's Places launched
Historic England are pleased to announce the launch of a new online service giving access to the Architectural Red Box Collection. You can see this on the Historic England website at England's Places.

This collection is a vast treasure trove of more than 600,000 prints, that have been scanned to allow you to search by place, browse the pictures and read the handwritten notes. While some have been fully catalogued (the details for which you can find here), many more remain uncatalogued or are reference copies from third parties that cannot be found elsewhere.

We are looking to improve the way England's Places works, so if you do use the site, please use the survey to tell us about your experience. 

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