This wonderful project has been brought to us by Historic England.
All around England, buildings old and new grace our streets and squares, our cities and our coastline. Some are iconic, others are hidden gems tucked away in our communities, forming a backdrop to our everyday lives.
Historic England are seeking advice from the general public. They are asking us yo share our best pictures and stories on social channels and tell them what makes our favourite historic building or place so special, don’t forget to hashtag #BuildingsYouLove.
You can even find the “architectural love of your life” with their 2 minute quiz: Discover your perfect building match.
Love letters to Buildings
This February, Historic England asked well-known personalities to tell us about the places they couldn’t live without. Here is a love letter by Dan Snow, historian and broadcaster.
Dan Snow to Battle Abbey:
“Battle Abbey just north of Hastings, where King Harold fought Duke William on a bright autumn day in 1066. The most famous of battlefields, the most consequential of battles. This is my Valentine. Always will be.
My dad and mum took my sisters and I there on countless occasions. We charged down the hill like Harold’s brothers, and then we rounded on ourselves, suddenly playing Normans, and slaughtering our erstwhile personas.
It is where I feel in love with the past. Its colour, import, tragedy and drama. It’s where I have returned year after year, programmes, podcasts, live shows, re-enactments. I have ridden a horse across that field, hauled a spear, hacked at the carcass of a pig, clambered through the ruined abbey and baked 11th century bread.
It runs like the words through the stick of rock that is my life. Now my kids too have explored the field. And so it goes on.”
Chris Riddell to London Road Viaduct, Brighton:
“I have loved the Brighton viaduct for as long as I’ve lived in Brighton. I discovered it as a student, as I walked down the London Road looking for interesting things to photograph for an art school project.
I love its Victorian heft, the sheer scale of the brick work and the way the viaduct looms over the street like some prehistoric creature. Standing beneath its arches is a pleasure, as is travelling along it from Brighton station to London Road station, and my front door.”
Mary-Ann Ochota to the Lion Salt works:
“When I first saw you, I was a child and you really weren’t much to look at. In fact, you scared me. A derelict site along the canal: raggedy weeds, tangled struts and a big square chimney. But I was standing next to a historian who explained who you really were – a place where men and women built their lives, a fortune and an industry on salt.
The workers wore clogs. They sang songs as they dragged rakes across vast open pans of brine. I remember learning that the Victorian moralists worried because men and women worked together, and that the ladies sometimes stripped off to their underskirts in the steamy rooms of boiling salt. The Victorians had been horrified, I was entranced. It wasn’t that long ago, but it was a different world. The buildings around me were never meant to be fancy, they were hard and functional and built to work. But there’s a beauty in such unapologetic practicality.
I realized that your tumbledown buildings held deep seams of stories that deserved to be told. Since I first saw you, you’ve spruced up. Now you have brown heritage signs and award-winning displays and a café. I’m glad you’ve met other people. I know you’re charming and teaching and entrancing them just like you did me.”
Such fantastic reads on how buildings can hold the power of influence within local (even not so local) communities.
|13||Preserving and Interpreting the Berlin Wall in a World of New Walls
The Engine Shed, Forthside Way, Stirling
|15-16||Disaster Management and Heritage
Birmingham City University
|18-22||Intensive Training Assessment and Accreditation in Construction Masonry
Merryhill Training Centre, Fife
|18||Conservation of Timberwork
The Engine Shed, Forthside Way, Stirling
|19-20||Understanding Building Conservation
|21||Conserving, Repairing and Maintaining Traditional Windows
Balmoral Castle, Aberdeenshire
|22||Lime Pointing Training Day
|25||Secret Spaces: Medieval Sacristies, Vestries, Treasure Rooms and their Contents
Society of Antiquaries apartments, Burlington House, London
|26||Wolds Welcome: Walking Lincolnshire’s Churches
St Peter & St Paul, Belchford
Credit to Building Conservation for sharing these key days with us.
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