A History of the National Heritage Collection: Volume Seven: 1953-1970

Author(s): Nick Chapple

This is Volume Seven in a series of eight reports, which describe the formation of the national collection of ancient monuments and historic buildings from 1882 to 1983 in the context of legislation and other available means of protecting heritage. The report describes the growth of the collection from the Historic Buildings and Ancient Monuments Act, 1953, which gave the government new powers of grant-giving and acquisition, to the formation of the Department of the Environment which brought about the amalgamation of historic buildings and ancient monuments work in one department for the first time. For the national collection this was a period of retrenchment after the rapid expansion of the early post-war years. A conservative collecting policy meant that not only did the collection grow more slowly than before, but the expansion into new types of monument which had begun after 1945 went into abeyance. Although the powers in the 1953 Act increased the government’s capacity for saving endangered buildings, they were aimed at keeping the buildings in use and as such represented the start of a movement away from the State taking over historic sites as its principal means of securing their preservation.

Report Number:
Research Report


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