History Of Historical Preservation Itself In The United Kingdom

Today the government of the United Kingdom has seen fit to sell off Stonehenge and use the stones as a means to prevent coastal erosion. It is also selling off thirty castles dating back to Norman times and will turn each area into a mini Milton Keynes. This hasn't happened but history shows that it could have. For two thousand years Kings and Queens ruled the lands of Europe but it wasn't until the mid 10th century that landmarks became ever lasting features.

The use of stone and architecture within meant places of worship and castles would probably be around for several centuries, indeed thanks to recent enactments by the public and government, they may well last a few thousand years more. In the 1800's Stonehenge was almost sold off by the private land owners to build a railway line, and members of the public saw fit to tear parts off for their own enjoyment. During this era significant manor houses and castle were also being bought up and being converted, like Tattershall Castle in Lincolnshire.

These two events, amongst others, invigorated those with wealth to save these long lasting landmarks and ensure they remained for future generations. A variety of Acts of Parliament were put in place to ensure land, monuments and places of historical interest would be kept untouched for the centuries that followed.

The distinct difference across the world when it comes to our heritage is the change in the political landscape from Monarchies to Parliaments. Kings and Queens tended to only build and not destroy their archaic ways, with lords presiding in manors and churches continually state sponsored. However with parliament in full swing, came the responsibility to ensure these landmarks and monuments stayed in situ for time immemorial and so was born the Ancient Monuments Consolidation and Amendment Act 1913, Ancient Monuments Protection Act 1900 and the Ancient Monuments Protection Act 1882.

These three alone, with the assistance of organisations such as the National Trust and the great many properties still owned by the monarchy ensure that today, we keep an ever discernible eye upon our heritage, historical landmarks and antiquities as much as is possible. Yet they are still faced with threats, expanding conurbations, effects on the environment, growing populations, increasing tourism trends. All of these issues need careful consideration when it comes to urban conservation, meeting the demands of the public and ensuring the plight of historical sites is managed on an ongoing basis.