The hidden treasures in the 100 year old photographic archive of historic England

A new online archive of more than 400,000 aerial photographs gives people across England the chance to see how the country has changed over the past century.

The preservation organization Historic England has launched the freely accessible online offer tool to help members of the public get their buildings listed. But the archive, which dates back to 1919, also allows users to “follow the construction and remodeling of historic buildings,” discover “ancient archaeology,” and follow the changing faces of their local neighborhoods, he said The Telegraph.

“What better way to discover our common history than with this fascinating new online tool that offers a bird’s-eye view of our past,” said Nigel Huddleston, Secretary of State for Heritage. “I can’t wait to learn more about my area and encourage everyone to explore the thousands of English sites from the last century.”

From abandoned villages to famous football stadiums

The newly digitized archive covers a third of England and contains images including the remains of “a Neolithic long barrow near Broughton, Hampshire,” said The Telegraph. Other ancient treasures captured on camera include “Iron Age forts like Pilsdon Pen in Dorset and abandoned medieval villages like Old Sulby in Northamptonshire,” the newspaper added.

One of the earliest images in the collection shows Ipswich Town Hall and Corn Exchange in 1921.


History buffs can also see a “Roman military camp at Malham in the Yorkshire Dales,” it says The Yorkshire Postwhich noted that other images from the region include footage showing coastal erosion near Kilnseam and the East Hecla Steelworks which was demolished to make way for the Meadowhall shopping center in Sheffield.

Nuclear power plants are represented as well as defense systems from the Second World War. Aerial photographs show “Anti-aircraft obstacles at Hampton Court Palace and camouflaged runways at RAF Kenley in 1941”. The guard reported. And “Bomb damage can be seen in images of central Liverpool and the Albert Dock from 1941, 1946 and 1948”.

Another “remarkable” photo, the newspaper said, was of Newcastle United’s St James’ Park football ground in 1927.

St James Park

And for the sheer wow factor, it’s back to Ipswich and a picture of Stoke Bridge Wharf in the city of Suffolk in 1933.

stoke The hidden treasures in the 100 year old photographic archive of historic England

Fry Electronics Team

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