Uncovering the hidden heritage gems across the UK!
30 January 2012
The Churchill War Rooms are famously known as the underground headquarters from which Winston Churchill directed the war effort. Following the surrender of the Japanese Forces the doors to the Cabinet War Rooms were locked on 16 August 1945 and the complex was left undisturbed until Parliament ensured its preservation as a historic site in 1948. Knowledge of the site and access to it remained highly restricted until the late 1970s when the Imperial War Museum began the task of preserving the site and its contents, making them accessible to as wide an audience as possible.
Read more about The Churchill War Rooms»
30 January 2012
One thing about old churches that often gets overlooked is what’s underneath them. If it’s Victorian or later it will probably be nothing more than a dusty old boiler room, but anything earlier is likely to have a crypt. And crypts mean bodies, so caution and sensitivity are required.
Read more about Going underground at the Churches Conservation Trust»
27 January 2012
Whilst rehearsing for a play in St Mary’s, Redgrave last year one of the actresses stamped her foot, which caused the chancel floor to give way. We did know there was a family burial vault nearby, but this incident revealed to us where the passage to it was. Because we had to take up part of the floor anyway, for repairs, it gave the opportunity to undertake an archaeological investigation of the vault and the 17 coffins in it, so several hours were spent underground recording it. Why waste an opportunity? With the permission of the family (who still live in the village) we planned an Open Vault weekend for the public.
Read more about Vaults discovered under St Mary's Church, Redgrave»
25 January 2012
Unless you stand on the bottom of the harbour, St James Barton is about as low as you can get round here. Handy for the shopping centre and the Royal Infirmary, its six lanes swirl round a giant plughole known as the Bear Pit. If only on one level, this is a top candidate for the basement of Bristol.
Read more about St James Barton Blues»
23 January 2012
They’re now thought to be where the Roman residents of Colchester made their last stand against Boudica’s revolt – but for centuries they were forgotten and hidden away. It’s again possible to visit them and appreciate both the glory and the disaster of Roman Britain.
Read more about Roman Colchester»
23 January 2012
I’ve just had a proper Discovering Places adventure in writing this blog post about this week’s challenge to discover basements and vaults…
Read more about Call to action: Basements & Vaults»
20 January 2012
Standedge Tunnel is one of Britain’s industrial heritage gems and is a monument to our 19th Century canal pioneers. A unique spot in the heart of the Pennine countryside in Marsden, Standedge Tunnel is the longest (3miles 406 yards), highest (645ft above sea level), and deepest (638ft) canal tunnel in Britain offering visitors the chance to delve deep into one of the ‘Seven Wonders of the Waterways’.
Read more about Standedge Tunnel»
18 January 2012
Chislehurst caves isn’t quite what it says it is. It’s actually 20 miles or so of chalk mines, excavated way back in Roman times. It’s history according to its website incorporates Saxon, Druid and Roman times, I’m always surprised that it doesn’t get more of a fanfare from historical organisations and the like, because I thought it was one of the cool things about my home town. That, and apparently the fact that Siouxsie and the Banshees grew up there.
Read more about Chislehurst Caves»
18 January 2012
Tunnels have played an important role in history and none so more than those at Dover Castle. Intrepid visitors can still descend into the Medieval Tunnels burrowed beneath during and after the 1216-7 siege. A second and much larger network was begun during the Napoleonic War to house secure underground barracks for over 2000 soldiers.
At the beginning of World War II these tunnels were recommissioned and extended housing a hospital and becoming a bomb-proof nerve centre for the defence of Dover and the coast.
16 January 2012
The daily commute on the London Underground provides us with little time to stop and look. We are too busy looking where we are going (or avoiding eye contact with fellow passengers) to appreciate our surroundings. But many of the tube stations we rush through every day are heritage gems, with stunning architectural features, hidden artworks and unique histories.
Enter your email address below to join our mailing list: