Britain hasn’t always been in love with its heritage. It took some shocking acts of destruction, and some very near misses, to help shape the way it is now treasured and protected.
The UK today has some of the most powerful conservation laws in the world.
This year marks 100 years since the first legislation was passed giving the government power to act directly when a historic site was under threat.
The country’s heritage is now treasured and has become big business, but it wasn’t always the case. In the 19th Century most historic sites were in private hands and owners could do whatever they liked with them, including raze them to the ground.
But a small group of pioneers knew heritage was something to treasure and by saving it shaped the Britain we know today. They were driven by some acts of destruction, and some very near misses, that are shocking today.