We have lots of exciting plans to share with you in 2017.
Before we get started though, we would like to thank everyone who voted for us in the UK Blog Awards 2017. We’re through to the finals in the Arts & Culture and Travel categories! Hopefully sharing the news of a win will be one of the stories we can tell this year, but that’s down to the judging panel – we’ll know the results at the end of April.
In the meantime, here are six selected stories that we’re definitely looking forward to telling. This doesn’t include our seasonal events, inspiration for days out and holidays in England, or even our major theme for the 2017. It’s going to be an exciting year.
But first, a recap of 2016:
1. Our biggest ever conservation project starts this year.
We’re spending over £1m to repair Iron Bridge in Shropshire. It was the world’s first single span arch bridge to be made of cast iron, and was a turning point in British engineering. Formally opened on New Year’s Day 1781, it was only closed to vehicles in 1934.
The conservation programme will see the all the different elements of the bridge examined and repaired. The cast iron pieces will be carefully cleaned and conserved, and reinstalled or replaced where absolutely necessary.
2. There will be more blue plaques revealed
We’ll be honouring the lives of more famous people from London’s past with our blue plaques scheme. Details about the people to be commemorated in 2017 are coming soon.
3. We’ll be celebrating Women’s History Month
In March, we’ll once again be telling forgotten stories from history’s most inspirational women for Women’s History Month.
Last year Bettany Hughes blogged on why women were written out of history, Tracey Borman explained why she believes that Elizabeth I was such an important figure, and we investigated the lives of figures as diverse as WWII spy Violet Szabo and Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine.
Visit our Women in History hub to refresh your memory.
4. It’s all happening on Hadrian’s Wall
There are a range of exciting things happening on Hadrian’s Wall in 2017.
- It’s the 30th anniversary of being designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site
- It’s 1,900 years since Hadrian became the Roman Emperor
- A major new wall-wide exhibition is coming, starting in April. Sites all along the Wall will be participating in #HadriansCavalry – which will bring together Roman objects from all over the world, and include a series of events and installations.
- There are also projects underway to improve the interpretation at sites including Birdoswald and Corbridge Roman Town, which will start later in the year.
Make sure you plan a visit to Hadrian’s Wall in 2017 – here’s our travel guide to help you decide where to go and what to do.
5. We’re investing in Framlingham Castle
Featuring in Ed Sheeran’s single ‘Castle on the Hill’ is just the first of several exciting things to happen to Framlingham Castle in 2017.
A £1.2m project is already getting underway. We will reinstate a lost mezzanine level in the castle’s Poorhouse, this will increase and improve the interpretation of Framlingham’s fascinating past and the castle’s accessibility. We’ll also undertake some important routine conservation of the walls.
It’s also getting an unusual addition for the season: a 7.5m slide from the wall walk into the castle’s inner courtyard.
6. We’ll continue preserving rare WWI graffiti
Drawn and scratched into the delicate limewashed walls of Richmond Castle is a rare record of rebellion. We started telling the story of the Richmond Sixteen conscientious objectors last year, around the centenary of their imprisonment at the castle.
This year, our conservation work continues, and a volunteer-led research project is getting underway. While we know a little about a small number of these inscriptions, the vast majority are yet to be researched.
Stay up to date
For more on all these stories, and all our latest news, follow English Heritage on Twitter
Follow our year (including ‘on this day’ historic events, and the best places to visit and things to do each month) starting with January.