English Heritage: Facts and Figures

Background information and statistics on the English Heritage Trust.

Properties

  • 18 holiday cottages within our historic locations
  • The oldest property in our care is Kit's Coty House, Kent (estimated 3900BC)
  • Our youngest historic property is York Cold War Bunker, York (1960s)

5 of our properties fall within World Heritage Sites:

  • Stonehenge
  • Hadrian's Wall
  • The Jewel Tower (Westminster)
  • The Iron Bridge
  • St Augustine's Abbey, Canterbury

English Heritage in Numbers

There are around 480,800 objects in our collections. This includes 1,218 easel paintings and frames at 28 sites, with paintings by Rembrandt, Velazquez and Vermeer.

Some of the significant historic artefacts in our care include Charles Darwin's notebooks, Queen Victoria's bathing machine and the Duke of Wellington's boots

We run the London Blue Plaque scheme, with over 900 plaques across the city

We have over 2,000 volunteers across 36 sites.

English Heritage is the biggest provider of heritage education in the UK, with nearly 400,000 education visits per year.

We love events! We host nearly 500 historic events annually, from medieval jousts to ghost tours, on over 1,000 event days at 46 different historic properties,.

Over the past five years, English Heritage has raised over £30million, including gifts, legacies and donations for specific projects. During this time donations have allowed us to carry out projects at 92 sites, from Tintagel to Hadrian's Wall, and support national education and archival projects, as well as the conservation of war memorials, an apprenticeship programme and London's Blue Plaques scheme.

Did you know?

Many of our sites have become glamorous stars of the silver screen. Dover Castle was transformed into a Tudor palace for The Other Boleyn Girl (2008), while Old Wardour Castle formed the backdrop for key scenes in Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves (1991).

Our Property Manager at Battle Abbey is a fully trained apiarist, looking after the bees we returned to the recently recreated walled garden.

The names of all the donkeys who operate the castle well at Carisbrooke Castle start with the letter 'J', the letter Charles I signed his letters with when imprisoned here. The kings attempt to escape was foiled when he became wedged in the window bars.

The Swiss Cottage at Osborne was built by Prince Albert for his children to learn how to be citizens; he would buy vegetables grown there off them at market rate.

Old Sarum in Wiltshire was the most notorious of the 19th Century 'Rotten Boroughs', with the largely uninhabited site 'electing' two MPs.

Mount Grace Priory in Yorkshire is inhabited by its very own colony of white stoats, who live amongst the wonderfully preserved priory and open grassland.

Many of our properties have been owned by royalty; highlights include Dover Castle (Henry II), Audley End (Charles II), Osborne (Victoria) and Middleham Castle (Richard III).

Our places have inspired many writers, including Bram Stoker, who immortalised the Whitby Abbey ruins in Dracula, Sir Walter Scott, who based his novel Kenilworth on the story of Elizabeth I and Kenilworth Castle, and Thomas Hardy, who featured Stonehenge in Tess of the D'Urbervilles.

We own the site of the Battle of Hastings, where King Harold fell to William the Conqueror in one of the most decisive battles in history.

We own a working vineyard! It was donated to Lincoln in 1972 by its twinned city, and now sits within the garden of the Medieval Bishop's Palace.

Carlisle Castle is the most besieged place in the British Isles, and was the very last English fortress to suffer a siege, in the Eighteenth Century.

Last year we ran the 'Free School Bus' scheme, which was funded entirely by gifts to English Heritage. The scheme saw 11,000 children able to travel to English Heritage sites as part of their school curriculum for free, or at a significantly reduced cost.

Return to Press Area

'step into englands story