Picturing England: Previously unseen photographs chart 150 years of English history

More than 300 images illustrate the changing appearance of English builldings, landscapes and people

Matilda Battersby
Friday 03 July 2015 16:10
The Holborn Viaduct under construction, City of London 11 September 1869
The Holborn Viaduct under construction, City of London 11 September 1869

Incredible images from the unparalleled – and mostly untapped - archive at Historic England, an archive of English history, people, and places, are being made available to the public for the first time.

Diamond Jubilee decorations, St James’s Street, London 1897

From Edwardian shooting parties captured in all their finery to Blitzed churches, Picturing England is an revealing journey through 150 years of English history via beautifully-preserved photographs.

Birmingham Town Hall, Victoria Square, Birmingham 1941
Henry Tount on his houseboat, Oxford, Oxfordshire, 1985

More than 300 images illustrate the changing appearance of English buildings, landscapes, and people, all the while revealing how the method, subject matter and purpose of photography has dramatically evolved over time.

Goosemire, Mardale, Cumbria 1935

St Paul’s Cathedral from Southwark Bridge, City of London 1855-9

Picturing England

pinpoints crucial turning points in the history of photography, demonstrating how inventions such as the picture postcard, the handheld camera and the aeroplane changed the medium forever. It also provides an intimate insight into lost social worlds: from mischievous Victorian family photo albums to labourers working on the 1920 restoration of Stonehenge.

Group Portrait in costume, possibly at Manor House, Little Missenden, Buckinghamshire April 1878
Egg gatherers, Flamborough, East Yorkshire July 1926
Rotherhithe Tunner under construction, Southwark, London 30 November 1906
Oxford Arms Inn, Oxford Arms Passage, Warwick Lane, City of London 1875
Barton Swing Aqueduct, Bridgewater Canal, Trafford, Greater Manchester 1945-54

To tie in with publication of Picturing England, a free exhibition of the images from will run until 21 September at The Library of Birmingham.

Picturing England, The photographic collections of Historic England by Mike Evans, Gary Winter & Anne Woodward is £45

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