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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What Became of the Monks and Nuns at the Dissolution?
Discover what happened to the many thousands of monks and nuns whose lives were changed forever when, on the orders of Henry VIII, every abbey and priory in England was closed.
Thomas Becket, Henry II and Dover Castle
Discover why Henry II spent a fortune on Dover Castle – not to protect his kingdom, but to save face after the murder of Thomas Becket by Henry’s own knights ten years earlier.
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.
Black Lives in 18th-Century Britain
Historian Steve Martin explores the lives of black soldiers, waged and enslaved servants, and independent citizens, who all lived under the shadow of slavery in 18th-century Britain.
The Eleanor Crosses: A Journey Set in Stone
Discover the remarkable story of the series of stone crosses erected by Edward I as memorials to his beloved first wife, Eleanor of Castile.
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.
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.
Dealing with difficult history
England’s history is fascinating, complex and sometimes controversial. Find out how English Heritage is approaching contested history.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 has often been hidden from view. Find out about the lives of some LGBTQ individuals and their place in the stories of English Heritage sites.
Black history is a key part of England’s story, reaching back many centuries, and helps us to reflect on the connections between past and present.
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.
Discover the stories held within the walls of England’s greatest fortifications and learn about the rise and fall of the medieval castle.
Abbeys and Priories
Learn about England’s medieval monasteries and uncover the stories of those who lived and prayed in 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.
THE ENGLISH CIVIL WARS
Discover how the Civil Wars unfolded at English Heritage’s properties – from ferocious sieges to the Isle of Wight castle where Charles I was held prisoner.
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