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Picturing England

Front cover for Picturing England

The photographic collections of Historic England

Hardback by Mike Evans, Gary Winter, Anne Woodward


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Photographers have taken pictures of England's buildings and landscapes since the invention of the medium, making images of the traces of past societies as well as photographing the new buildings around them.

They have done so for many reasons:

  • to capture the picturesque;
  • to make a living or a souvenir;
  • to promote or to condemn;
  • to record what is disappearing or to reveal what is normally hidden.

The formats and types of photograph they have used have been, over time, just as various, from the rare and special image, such as the first calotype, to the ubiquitous digital photograph. Collectively these photographers, both famous and anonymous, have changed the way we see and understand our environment.

This book features over 300 striking photographs from the Historic England Archive, an unparalleled collection of 9 million images on England's buildings and landscapes from the 1850s to the present. Viewed collectively, its photographic collections record the changing face of England from the beginning of photography to the present day. They form a remarkable national asset, a huge memory bank that helps us understand and interpret the past, informs the present and assists with future management and appreciation of the historic environment.

With informative essays and captions by the authors, this book will appeal to anyone with an interest in photography, architecture, archaeology or social history.





1. The pioneers: Before 1860

2. The rise of the mass market in photography: 1860-1939

3. The amateur view: 1860-1939

4. The rise of the professional architectural photographer: 1860-1939

5. Recording the past: 1870 to the present day

6. The view from above: 1900 to the present day

7. A photographic thread: 1850 to the present day


Glossary of selected photographic terms

Index to selected Historic England Archive collections

Additional Information

  • Printed Price: £45.00
  • Series: Illustrated History
  • Publication Status: Completed
  • Format: Hardback
  • Physical Size: 276 x 219
  • Pages: 344
  • Illustration: 297, black & white and colour
  • ISBN: 9781848020993


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Picturing England

Please click on the gallery images to enlarge.

  • View of houses in Micklegate, York
  • Boating pool, New Brighton, Wirral, 1933
  • Elderly woman, Selworthy, Somerset, c. 1890
  • Herbert Felton with his camera, 1941. Photographer: Frederick John Palmer
  • Holbourn Viaduct under construction, City of London, September 1869. Photographer: Henry Dixon
  • Bozeat Windmill, Northamptonshire, 1947. Photographer: George Bernard Mason
  • Oxford Arms Inn, Oxford Arms Passage, Warwick Lane, City of London, 1875. Photographer: A & J Bool
  • Liverpool Street Station, City of London, 1960-72. Photographer: John Gay.
  • G A Baker & Son, Southgate Street, Gloucester, Gloucestershire, 2000. Photographer: Caroline Craggs
  • Fort Perch Rock, New Brighton, Wirral, 2008. Photographer: Dave MacLeod
  • Ringbrough Coastal Battery, Aldbrough, East Yorkshire, 2000
  • Ringbrough Coastal Battery, Aldbrough, East Yorkshire, 2009. Photographer: Matthew Oakey

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