Histories
Stone carving of two faces

Histories

The places cared for by English Heritage span the story of England, from prehistory to the Cold War. Delve into our history pages to discover more about our sites, how they have changed over time, and who made them what they are today.

Our property histories will give you a concise and authoritative chronological overview of a site through the ages, authored by top historians. And with our stories and profile pages you can learn more about the key events and people who shaped our sites, including the women and LGBTQ figures who have sometimes been hidden from view.

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Josie Long and historian Andrew Roberts at Birdoswald Roman Fort on Hadrian’s Wall
Josie Long with English Heritage historian Andrew Roberts at Birdoswald Roman Fort on Hadrian’s Wall

Speaking with Shadows podcast

When you’re wandering about a historic place, what voices do you hear echoing off the walls? Are they the ones you learnt about at school – or do you wonder about the shadowy, quiet voices that may have gone unheard?

Speaking with Shadows is the podcast which listens to the people that history forgot. From castles on the south coast to Hadrian’s Wall in the far north, join presenter Josie Long as she travels across the country to seek out six stories from the hidden corners of England’s history. 

Listen to all the episodes below or subscribe on your favourite podcast platform.

More about the podcast

Highlights

  • Below Stairs at Audley End

    What were Victorian servants’ lives really like? Discover the stories of the men, women and children who worked at Audley End House, Essex, in the 1880s.

  • What Happened at the Battle of Hastings?

    At dawn on Saturday 14 October 1066, two great armies prepared to fight for the throne of England. Read what happened at the most famous battle in English history.

  • A Journey into Witchcraft Beliefs

    Step into the world of early modern England as Professor Diane Purkiss describes popular and intellectual beliefs about witchcraft in the 16th and 17th centuries.

  • The Shelling of Scarborough in 1914

    The devastating attack on Scarborough, North Yorkshire, by German warships in December 1914 was the first targeting of civilians on English soil during the First World War.

  • The Massacre of the Jews at Clifford's Tower

    One of the worst anti-Semitic massacres of the Middle Ages took place in York in 1190, when the city’s Jewish community was trapped by an angry mob inside York Castle.

  • Black Prisoners at Portchester Castle

    The extraordinary story of a group of over 2,500 prisoners of war who were brought to Portchester Castle in 1796 from the island of St Lucia.

  • Mary Queen of Scots at Carlisle Castle

    Find out why, after Mary Queen of Scots fled to England in 1568, her two-month stay at Carlisle Castle marked the beginning of 19 years of captivity.

  • The Viking Raid on Lindisfarne

    A terrifying Viking raid on St Cuthbert’s church in 793 sent a shockwave through Europe. How did a Christian community at Lindisfarne survive?

  • Charles II and the Royal Oak

    How the future king escaped from Parliamentarian forces during the Civil War in 1651, giving English history one of its greatest adventure stories.

  • The Misbehaving Monks of Hailes Abbey

    From visiting taverns to singing at the wrong pitch, the monks of Hailes Abbey couldn’t always meet the high standards expected of them.

  • D-Day Deception: Operation Fortitude South

    In 1944, Dover Castle’s tunnels played a supporting role in an elaborate deception that concealed the true location of the D-Day landings from the Germans.

  • Historic Sites of the Isles of Scilly

    The Isles of Scilly, off the south-western tip of Cornwall, are home to a remarkable range of historic sites, from prehistoric burial mounds to Civil War forts.

Explore by theme

  • Women in history

    Read about the remarkable lives of some of the women who have left their mark on society and shaped our way of life.

  • LGBTQ History

    LGBTQ history has often been hidden from view. Find out more about the lives of some LGBTQ individuals and their place in the stories of English Heritage sites.

  • Medieval Castles

    Discover the stories held within the walls of England’s greatest fortifications and learn about the rise and fall of the medieval castle.

  • Monasteries and Abbeys

    Learn about England’s medieval monasteries and abbeys and uncover the stories of those who lived and prayed in them.

  • ENGLAND’S PREHISTORIC MONUMENTS

    England’s prehistoric monuments span almost four millennia. Discover what they were used for, how and when they were built, and where to find them.

  • 1066 AND THE NORMAN CONQUEST

    Find out all about the Battle of Hastings, and the profound impact the Normans had on the country they had conquered.

Discover More With Membership

With English Heritage membership, you can enjoy a full year of free entry to over 400 historic places.

12 months’ unlimited access from only £4 per month. 

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