Voices of England

Like many nations, England has been created, and continues to be shaped, by geography, climate, language and the coming together of many different peoples and cultures over time.

This year, we invite you to discover how England has been shaped by these influences through a varied programme of film, music, poetry and art across the length and breadth of the country.

As the stewards of England’s history, we tell the story of England through the hundreds of places and many thousands of objects in our care.

But what actually makes a nation?

Is it the stories that we tell about ourselves, the landscape, the weather? Or is it something more personal, something that is felt; a sense of belonging that is hard to put into words?

Throughout 2020 and beyond, we are inviting you to join a conversation about England. The Voices of England programme is an opportunity for everyone to discover England’s stories and to find our own place within them. Explore with us how England has been shaped over time by its geography, climate and the coming together of different peoples and cultures.


Walmer Castle: From Plot to Plate

For thousands of years, England's land has been essential to human life, providing crops that feed and nourish. 

Today, many of our castles and country houses continue to grow food in historic kitchen gardens recreated based on records and research. 

Go behind-the-scenes at Walmer Castle’s kitchen garden and discover how an expert team of gardeners, volunteers and kitchen staff grow and prepare delicious seasonal produce all year round for visitors to enjoy. 

Explore our Historic Gardens


Capturing the Spirit of Tintagel Castle with Artist David Mankin

David Mankin is an abstract landscape artist based in Perranuthnoe, who takes inspiration from the sensory experience of the rugged Cornish coast. 

We invited David to produce his response to one of Cornwall's best-known landmarks, Tintagel Castle, where the land dramatically meets the sea. 

This short film examines David's unique approach, his influences, and follows the painting's journey as it develops. 

Historic Places by the Sea


scene from the Bayeux Tapestry

1066 and The Norman Conquest

1066 was a momentous year for England. The death of the elderly English king, Edward the Confessor, on 5 January set off a chain of events that would lead, on 14 October, to the Battle of Hastings. In the years that followed, the Normans had a profound impact on the country they had conquered.

Discover more here about the Battle of Hastings itself, the key players, and find out where you can see some of the spectacular castles and great abbeys that are a lasting legacy of this pivotal time.

The year that changed England


What Did the Romans Do For Us?

Under Roman rule, Latin became the language of British religion, law and administration, and a great many modern words still derive from this language. For example, did you know that plumbing is called this because the Romans made their pipes out of lead (plumbum)? 

But language isn't the Romans' only contribution to English and British culture today. Far from it... 

10 things the Romans did for us


The Cult of Mithras

On Hadrian's Wall lies the ruin of a subterranean temple to a little-known god, at the centre of a secretive Roman cult. New members were initiated in a mysterious ceremony of which we know very little.

This short film imagines what may have taken place.

Discover more of our Tales from English Folklore on YouTube


How Did Romans Cope with Snow?

Housesteads Roman Fort, set high on a wild hilltop in Northumberland, once played a key role in defence along Hadrian’s Wall. It commands incredible views – but especially in the winter, that means it’s exposed to all the elements. 

How did Roman people living on the Wall ensure that they kept warm throughout long winters of isolation?

Read more

Members' and Visitors' Handbook 2020/21

Your guide to the places where history happened

Each year we publish our members' and visitors' handbook to guide you through the 400+ historic places in our care

This year, we worked with the renowned letterpress artist Alan Kitching to produce a unique design for the handbook's cover.

Our short film explores Alan's background, his creative process and shows how this very special design came together.

Watch the Film
  • Become a Member

    Not yet a member? Join us today and enjoy unlimited access to over 400 historic places for a whole year from £4 a month.

  • Members Get More

    Explore the rewards and benefits you can enjoy as an English Heritage member, from retail discounts to associated attractions.

  • 400+ Places to Visit

    English Heritage membership is your key to more than 400 majestic castles, historic houses, awesome abbeys and glorious gardens.

More to Explore

  • Top 8 Things To Do in England

    From exploring the frontier of the Roman empire to seeing Stonehenge for yourself, here's our pick of the top 8 things to do in England.

  • Explore Blue Plaques

    The London Blue Plaques scheme commemorates famous Londoners and the buildings where they lived and worked.

  • England's Histories

    Discover the fascinating stories of the places cared for by English Heritage, from prehistory to the Cold War.

'step into englands story