Wherever you live, there’s treasure to be discovered!
Not just gold and gems, but stories of buildings, locations and people.
Our heritage is a great wealth… and it’s all around us. Sometimes standing proud in the open air – sometimes hidden behind some bushes.
And to help find it, we’re looking for Heritage Heroes – could you be one?
You can find clues in all sorts of places to find out what happened in your street, neighbourhood and further afield, from famous visitors to historic events.
Here are three tips to help you become a Heritage Hero…
Spot a Blue Plaque!
You can sometimes find clues about what happened somewhere on houses, historic buildings and even on walls and bridges!
You can spot them easily if you look – they’re usually blue!
Blue plaques are placed on buildings where people lived – even if only for a short while, to mark historic events which happened inside or nearby, or to mark a historic building that used to exist nearby.
When you’re out and about, look at the buildings and structures around you, and see if you can spot a plaque.
Whilst they’re often blue, sometimes they may be a different colour depending on who put the plaque up.
When you spot one, write down what the plaque says and you’ll be a step closer to being a Heritage Hero!Embed from Getty Images
Search for Statues and Memorials!
Statues aren’t just for old kings on horses and queens looking regal!
They commemorate people who made a difference to the places we live or to remember historic events – sometimes to celebrate victories, sometimes to remember tragedies.
And sometimes they can be controversial – like the statue of a slave trader which was pulled down by protesters in Bristol and thrown in the harbour.Embed from Getty Images
Memorials and monuments are like statues, helping us to remember events, like war memorials for the Great War.
They’re a way for people to remember those who were lost, as it wasn’t always possible for the dead to be brought home and so there aren’t many individual graves.
Why don’t you make a fact file all about a famous person you have discovered on a plaque or statue?
Here are some facts you could include about your famous person:
- Their name
- Date of Birth
- Place they lived
- What job did they do
- Why are they famous
- How are they remembered – a plaque, statue, memorial, street name…
- Why not include a drawing of them or of something special they did!
Read Street Names
Do you know how the road you live in or where your school got its name?
You might find it reveals what was on the land before… if it’s called Meadow View, perhaps it used to be a meadow. Or Market Place…?
Or it might be named after a famous person or event. And those names could give you clues to the age of the area.
So, if it’s Queen Victoria Road, it might have been built at the time of her Golden Jubilee!
And Windrush Street might be named to celebrate the arrival of the Windrush Generation.
If it’s not easy to tell what or who your road is named after, you can search on the internet or visit a local library where they often have books that document the history of your neighbourhood.Embed from Getty Images
Now it’s over to you! Here’s a reminder of things to look for to help you find out about the place where you live.
1 – Blue Plaques – look up and see if you can see these smart superheroes!
2 – Find a statue or memorial – and see what or who they commemorate. Take a photo or make a sketch.
3 – And check out the road names. See if you can work out who or what your road might be named after.
Here are some helpful links that will help you become a Heritage Hero!
Old newspapers: www.britishnewspaperarchives.co.uk
Archive film: www.bfi.org.uk/archive-collections
Blue Plaques in your area: www.blueplaquesite.com