A History of the National Heritage Collection, Volume Two: 1900-1913 The Offices of War, Woods and Works

Author(s): Sebastian Fry

This is Volume Two 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. This report covers the period from the 1900 Ancient Monuments Protection Act to the advent of new legislation in 1913. The 1900 Ancient Monuments Protection Act provided protection to historic buildings for the first time. There was a major transfer of properties from the War Office and the Office of Woods, Forests and Revenues to the Office of Works. The national collection increased nearly four-fold. It became a requirement that the public should have access and entrance fees began to be charged. Under Charles Peers, Inspector of Ancient Monuments from 1910, there developed a core of specialists to manage the collection; the Ancient Monuments Branch of the Office of Works. Medieval buildings already in State ownership were the first to undergo preservation as ‘historic monuments’. The Branch took over the repair and/or management of the Tower of London, Deal Castle, Walmer Castle and Dover Castle, among many other buildings. Pressure was also applied for new compulsory protective measures, laying the foundations for a modern system of heritage protection through the 1913 Ancient Monuments Consolidation and Amendment Act.

Report Number:
Research Report


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