News & Events

Pilgrim Roots HLF project newsletter: Pilgrim Trails

Welcome to our first newsletter for the Pilgrim Roots Heritage Project – to download a copy of the newsletter click here or on the image below:

HLF Project Newsletter 1 Pilgrim Trails
We will produce this publication on a regular basis as we chart our progress towards submitting a 2nd stage Heritage Lottery Bid which is entitled ‘Pilgrim Roots – The Separatists’ Story and beyond’.


The bid if successful, will allow Bassetlaw District Council and partners to create a Pilgrim Gallery in the former Tourist Information Centre adjacent to Bassetlaw Museum. In addition there will be an enhanced Pilgrim Trail with interpretation at 9 sites around Retford, Babworth, Scrooby, Sturton le Steeple, Austerfield and Gainsborough.

A role of Heritage Engagement Officer will be created and that person would be tasked with reaching out to schools, community groups and indeed anyone with an interest in the Pilgrim story. The Heritage Engagement Officer will take handling boxes and costumes so that people can really immerse themselves in a story which, although 400 years old, has parallels with challenges that many people continue to face today: migration, freedom and tolerance.

The Heritage Engagement Officer will be supported by a Heritage Support Officer, based at the museum who will assist visitors, making sure that churches are open, accommodation is confirmed and tour guides are booked. Additionally a new Pilgrim Roots website will pull together all of the new activities, information and events into one place.


Timescales for the HLF process are: submission of 2nd stage bid, May 2018 – decision September 2018. If we are successful, work will begin on the new gallery in October 2018 and will be completed in Spring 2019. The project will run until September 2021.

There is so much more we can say about the exciting plans we have as the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower reaching Plymouth Massachusetts approaches, but we want to tell you in person and that’s why we are holding a number of CONSULTATION EVENTS where you can drop in, see our plans, fill in a survey form and generally give us your thoughts. As a Thank you to Heritage Lottery Players anyone coming to any of these events will be treated to a hot drink and biscuits on production of their lottery ticket.

Consultation Events

Tuesday 20 March 10.30 – 12.30 Bassetlaw Museum
Tuesday 20 March 13.30 – 15.30 Gainsborough Old Hall
Friday 23 March 15.00 – 19.00 Scrooby Parish Hall
Tuesday 27 March 15.00 – 19.00 Sturton-le-Steeple Village Hall
Saturday 7 April 10.30 – 12.30 Gainsborough Heritage Centre
Thursday 19 April 19.45 Grove Street Methodist Church (Bassetlaw Christian Heritage Meeting)
Monday 7 May 10.00 – 15.00 Retford Market (Charter Day)

The Pilgrim Roots Partnership

The wider partnership includes representatives from local authorities, tourism and corporate agencies from across the region, as well as community interest groups and other stakeholders. The partnership is open to all with a shared interest in promoting and upholding the aims and objectives of the Roots Partnership.

Our partners include:
• Bassetlaw District Council
• Boston Borough Council
• Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council
• Lincolnshire County Council
• North East Lincolnshire Council
• Nottinghamshire County Council
• Transported
• University of Lincoln
• Visit Lincoln
• Marketing Nottinghamshire
• West Lindsey District Council

Meet the Project Team

Led by Sandra Withington from Bassetlaw District Council, Sandra is the overall Project Manager ably supported by Robert Wilkinson, overseeing building related works; Dr Anna Scott who is a heritage professional working for Bassetlaw and West Lindsey District Councils; Sam Glasswell, museum curator; and Sarah Cheng who brings previous experience of working on successful HLF projects.

Interpretation Consultants appointed

We are pleased to have appointed our Interpretation Team, who will be working on the 2nd Stage Heritage Lottery Bid with us. They are WideSky Design (digital media design), Querceus Design (interpretive and museum design) and Catherine Chroney (Strategic consultancy and storyline). Chris Parker from WideSky, Mike Oakenfull from Querceus and Catherine have worked together on a number of projects, most recently re-fitting visitor centres for the Peak District National Park. They have worked on a wide variety of projects – including museums, visitor centres, national parks and historic buildings. Past clients include the National Trust, Historic Royal Palaces, the Houses of Parliament, English Heritage and many charitable trusts.

An exciting NEW GAME is being created

Students from Sheffield Hallam University are working on a project to build a virtual reality experience about William Brewster and Scrooby Manor. Led by tutor
David Wilson, who lives in Ranskill and knows the area well, the students are re-creating the sitting room and a secret chapel where visitors or ‘gamers’ will be able
to pick up artefacts and find clues that will draw them into the VR experience. Dave says ‘It’s early days yet but the 3D art is looking great and our students are really interested and enthusiastic about the subject matter’. We can’t wait to see the results!

Did you know?

  • The Pilgrims clothes weren’t just black and white.
  • The Brewster family from Scrooby sailed on the Mayflower. The children had some interesting names: two girls named Fear and Patience, and three boys named Love, Wrestling… and Jonathan!
  • The Pilgrims from our area were Separatists – people who wanted to have their own church, and not be part of the state Church of England – at a time when this was illegal and forbidden.
  • Men from our region who sailed on the Mayflower signed an important document called the Mayflower Compact – it set out an agreement between the passengers to work together once they got to America – to ensure their survival. They ended up in the wrong place at the wrong time of year, and had to make their own agreement to come together as a ‘civil body politic’. The principles of this document were later said to have inspired the American Constitution.
  • There were 102 passengers on the Mayflower – 32 were children.
  • In 1955, a group of American descendants visited England and Holland and recorded their visit on plaques in Babworth and Scrooby – ‘On their first Pilgrimage – 152, by planes – to the Netherlands and England’ – similar plaques can be found across the country.
  • Thomas Bayard was the US Ambassador to the UK in the late 1890s – he laid a foundation stone at the John Robinson Memorial Church in Gainsborough, and was instrumental in getting William Bradford’s diary – which recorded the Pilgrims’ story – repatriated to the USA after it was found in the library at Fulham Palace in London.


Can you help us? Mayflower memories & the Roots Heritage Lottery Fund project…

Can you help us

The Mayflower arrives… in Retford! It’s 1985, and the ship has just sailed into the Market Place. Were you there? Do you remember seeing this (inland) historic voyage?! We’d love to hear from you as part of the Pilgrim Roots Heritage Project – funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

This month, we’re holding consultation events to find out what people in Bassetlaw and West Lindsey think about the plans to tell the Pilgrim story around a heritage trail and what’s important about that story.

On Tuesday 20th March, the Project Team will be at:

  • Bassetlaw Museum in Retford between 10.30am and 12.30pm, and
  • Gainsborough Old Hall between 1.30pm and 3.30pm – and if you bring a National Lottery ticket with you, you can claim a free hot drink that same day in Chambers Coffee Shop at the Old Hall.

Come along to:

  • see some of our plans and designs for the trail and new gallery at Bassetlaw Museum
  • share your memories of Mayflower commemorations in the past
  • find out about planned activities and events
  • register your interest as a volunteer.

You can also tell us your thoughts about the plan via this short online questionnaire.

The Imagination Museum: new dance project for Mayflower 400 in Notts & Lincs

New dance and heritage project commemorating the Mayflower 400 anniversary awarded funding from Arts Council England

Multi award-winning choreographer Katie Green, originally from Lincolnshire, will bring her newest project The Imagination Museum: Mayflower 400 to Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire, Hampshire and Plymouth in the lead up to the 2020 anniversary of the sailing of the Mayflower. The project will see 5,500 people get involved in innovative dance and heritage events within their local community.

The Imagination Museum: Mayflower 400 project will bring to life museum collections and heritage sites through fun and engaging dance performances and workshops. It will draw on the historic story of the Mayflower’s voyage from England to America, and will begin in North Nottinghamshire and culminate in Plymouth. The Mayflower set sail from Plymouth in September 1620, and the 400th anniversary will be commemorated nationwide.

The Imagination Museum (photo Pari Naderi)
The Imagination Museum (photo Pari Naderi)

From 2019 – 2020, the project will tour to 19 venues across the Midlands and South West of England, including museums, heritage sites, schools, community centres and churches. Each performance will be different, drawing on workshops with the local community at each venue to develop the core dance piece, and providing opportunities for community groups to perform alongside professional dancers. Choreographer Katie Green says: “We are thrilled to have been supported through the Arts Council’s Strategic Touring programme to develop our work with dance and museums. This funding, along with the support of our other partners, enables us to work closely with communities in three key regions. We’re particularly excited to work with people who may be new to dance or museums.”

To find out more about how you can get involved in The Imagination Museum: Mayflower 400 project, contact

The Imagination Museum: Mayflower 400 project is produced by Made By Katie Green, supported financially using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England as part of the Strategic Touring programme, Hampshire Cultural Trust, The Box, Plymouth City Council and Bassetlaw District Council, and also delivered in partnership with the Pilgrim Roots Regional Partnership, Transported, The Point and Plymouth Dance.

Made By Katie Green is a contemporary dance company developing new ways of responding to historical artefacts and heritage sites through dance. Working collaboratively with a range of artists, we create stories that bring our shared past to life in new ways, and engage a broad audience, including those who are new to dance.

For more information about the company’s work visit:

For more information about the national Mayflower 400 commemoration, please visit:

Snowdrops at Babworth Church

Come along to Babworth Church on the weekend of 10th and 11th February to see the snowdrops…

Explore the beautiful surroundings of the church where Rev Richard Clifton once preached, before he became the leader of the Separatists who escaped to Holland. Church is open 10am-4pm on Saturday and 12pm-4pm on Sunday. All welcome.

Babworth Snowdrop Weekend 2018

Pilgrim Roots HLF project: have your say…

Bassetlaw’s long held ambition to commemorate its rich Pilgrim history is one step closer following National Lottery funding support.

Have your say and find out more about Pilgrims’ heritage plans in Bassetlaw and West Lindsey in the public consultation that is now underway: complete our short survey online.

HLF result Babworth Church

Bassetlaw District Council received initial financial support of £45,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) in October 2017 for an ambitious project which will tell the story of the region’s early Pilgrims who left the area, initially fleeing to Holland, and then making the seminal journey aboard the Mayflower to Plymouth USA in 1620.

The Council is working in partnership with Nottinghamshire County Council, West Lindsey District Council, Bassetlaw Christian Heritage and the University of Lincoln to develop the project.

Development plans are being prepared for a Pilgrim Roots Gallery at Bassetlaw Museum in Retford, and a re-developed 40 mile Pilgrim Roots Trail linking Retford to Gainsborough and associated villages.

The project, entitled Pilgrim Roots: The Separatists’ Story, will tell the inspiring tale about William Brewster, William Bradford and other influential pilgrims from Scrooby, Babworth, Austerfield and Sturton-le-Steeple. It will relay how their journey in pursuit of tolerance and freedom resonates with similar issues that still exist today.  More importantly, the story will be told in a modern way, dispelling the myths that ‘the Pilgrim Fathers’ were all old men, and introduce the role that women and young men played and critically will address the complex issues of the effect the Separatists settling in Plymouth had on the indigenous native population.

Development funding is being used to progress the project’s partnership plans to apply for a full grant in May 2018. If successful, each area currently being developed will be delivered as part of a three year Heritage Engagement programme with the Roots region.

An enhanced Pilgrim Roots Trail linked to digital resources will provide far-reaching opportunities for engaging communities and volunteers and attracting local, national and international visitors. New or enhanced interpretation will be developed at the churches and locations that would have been familiar to the Pilgrims. A comprehensive  programme of activities and events is planned for the duration of the project, particularly to mark the 400th anniversary in 2020.

Bassetlaw District Council Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Economic Development, Cllr Jo White said: “I am delighted that the Heritage Lottery Fund recognises how important the Pilgrim Roots story is to the area.

“We led this application to HLF on behalf of a number of partners as diverse as West Lindsey District Council, Bassetlaw Christian Heritage and University of Lincoln and this shows the passion and commitment of these organisations to create a lasting legacy from the 400thanniversary in 2020.  It gives us a platform to build on annual events such as Illuminate and our Conference on Religious Tolerance and we are confident that our communities will benefit greatly if we are successful with the full grant application.”

Jonathan Platt, Head of HLF East Midlands, said: “The story of the Mayflower is one of international significance, and has its roots in the East Midlands and South Yorkshire. We are delighted that money from National Lottery players can help support the plans for this important anniversary, and we look forward to seeing the detailed proposals in due course.”

Commenting on the HLF announcement, Bassetlaw MP John Mann, who chairs the All-Party Parliamentary Group for the Mayflower Pilgrims, said: “Its great news that Heritage Lottery Fund are supporting stage one of the bid.  The roots of American democracy are founded in the very heart of Bassetlaw and this is a story that needs to be told. The year 2020 will soon be upon us and this funding will help begin this very important work.”

Bassetlaw District Council is a member of Mayflower 400, a partnership of 11 UK destinations, plus Leiden and USA that signed a Modern Mayflower Compact agreeing to work together in partnership towards a joint 400th commemoration of the sailing of the Mayflower in 1620.  The Mayflower 400 group meet regularly to work up national plans for a touring programme of events in 2020 including lectures, theatre, dance, exhibitions, sports, culture and heritage.


Just one week to go until Boston’s Illuminate!

Illuminate 2016 credit Electric Egg (72)

The final touches are being made to this year’s spectacular Illuminate parade in Boston, which is due to take place on the evening of Thursday 23 November in Boston Market Place! Boston’s Illuminate is a partnership event between Transported, the Arts Council funded programme to increase participation in the arts in Boston and South Holland, and Boston Borough Council. This will be Boston’s third Illuminate festival, telling the story of the Boston Pilgrims and their part in the Mayflower story.

This year’s parade reflects on themes of hope and betrayal, and will comprise over two hundred participants from local schools and community groups, holding stunning lanterns that they have made under the guidance of artists Ruth Pigott from Curiosity Creators, Kathleen Smith, Nadya Monfrinoli and Jessica Thompson. Students from St Thomas’s, Wyberton Primary, Boston West, Wrangle Primary and Giles Academy have been really busy over the last few weeks creating colourful lanterns in the shapes of candles, bird cages, fish and suitcases – along with members of the community who have also created lanterns in open workshops at Fydell House, Boston Guildhall and Geoff Moulder Leisure Centre.

Led by stilt walkers and musicians, the lit lantern parade will make its way from Central Park at 5.50pm, proceeding down Strait Bargate and into the Market Place. Simultaneously, an actor on the stage will be narrating the story of the Boston Pilgrims – their attempt to escape from Boston, how they were betrayed, and then held in Boston Guildhall.  A choir of more than one hundred people will then sing the Mayflower anthem, which was written especially for Boston’s Illuminate by musician Jo Freya, whilst beautiful light projections illuminate Boston Stump.

Transported would love to see as many viewpoints of the parade as possible, so if you take any photos or videos on social media, please tag them with #Illuminate2017 and #transportedart so that we can see them! A specially created Snapchat filter will also be available to use from 4pm to 8pm on the evening, exclusive to the area surrounding the procession – just search for Illuminate 2017.

As well as the Illuminate Parade, Thursday 23 November will see the Boston Christmas Market return. Festive treats and gifts can be purchased whilst watching the evening entertainment which will host Cinderella and Kenny J performances. The newly formed community group, Christmas In Boston, will turn on the Christmas lights they have worked hard to secure funding for from local businesses to light the town. A Festive Market has also being added to this year’s calendar on Sunday 17 December hosting a free screening of Elf in the Stump in the afternoon.

Illuminate is a partnership event organised by Transported, Boston Borough Council and Mayflower 400.  For more information, visit and

Scrooby Manor House is named in Top 10 Travel & Tourism places

Scrooby Manor House is named in Top 10 Travel & Tourism places announced in ‘A History of England in 100 Places’ campaign

A campaign led by Historic England (formerly known as English Heritage) entitled Irreplaceable: A History of England in 100 Places and sponsored by Ecclesiastical, led to Scrooby Manor House being nominated by members of the public.

Historian and Author Bettany Hughes judged the Travel & Tourism category in Historic England’s campaign and the final ten places chosen from a long list of public nominations include the home of a William Brewster, a Roman road and a pier hailed by John Betjeman as the most beautiful in England.  The nomination for Scrooby Manor House is as follows:

  • Site of the medieval Scrooby Manor House, Scrooby, Nottinghamshire: This was the home to William Brewster, one of the Pilgrims who journeyed on the Mayflower to New England in 1620. Brewster was among a group who, in 1606, broke away from the established church after becoming dissatisfied with the corruption in the Church of England. Called Separatists, they wanted to live a simpler life based on the Bible teachings. Brewster opened up his home, Scrooby Manor House, as a meeting place for the new congregation. The separatists were severely censured and a small group of them, led by Brewster, left for the New World in 1620. The influence of the small, idealistic colony they set up when they landed in Provincetown can still be seen in the beliefs of America today and has had a lasting impact on the world.

The earliest reference to the medieval Manor House or Palace of the Archbishops of York occurs in 1207 when King John ordered French wine to be sent to Scrooby for the use of his half-brother, who was the Archbishop at that time.  Throughout the Middle Ages references are found to successive Archbishops visiting Scrooby and signing ecclesiastical documents there. In 1530, Cardinal Wolsey spent the month of September at the Manor House when he fell out of favour with King Henry VIII. Henry himself stayed there in 1541.

It was from 1590 when William Brewster senior, Receiver and Bailiff of the Archbishop’s estate and Master of the Queen’s Postes died, and William junior inherited the position, that Scrooby Manor House played a role in the Separatist movement.  William Brewster and William Bradford from nearby Austerfield had been attending the Church at Babworth to listen to Richard Clifton preach but his unorthodox views led to him being deprived of his living in 1605.  It is believed that Brewster began holding meetings of the Scrooby Separatist congregation at the Manor House and it was here that the Pilgrims planned their escape, firstly to Holland in 1608 and then in 1620, making that seminal journey aboard the Mayflower to America.

Today Scrooby Manor House is privately owned and in in the process of being painstakingly restored by David and Julie Dunstan.  Julie said “We are delighted that our home has been recognised for its historic importance not only in England but also in America.  One of the remaining original walls of the former palace bears plaques donated by Mayflower descendants dating back over a hundred years and no doubt in 2020, which is the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower sailing to America, there will be an additional plaque to commemorate this historic voyage.”

Although Scrooby Manor House is not accessible to the public, occasional tours of the grounds and exterior of the house can be organised through accredited Mayflower 400 tour guides (for more information on guided tours explore Scrooby & Babworth).

Councillor Jo White, Deputy Leader at Bassetlaw District Council said ‘We are absolutely delighted that Scrooby Manor House has been recognised in Historic England’s Irreplacable campaign which identifies sites that are widely agreed to have witnessed historic events.  Scrooby Manor certainly meets this criteria with its links to the Separatists who hailed from North Nottinghamshire and are attributed, through the signing of the original Mayflower Compact, to have been the founding fathers of modern American democracy.”

The other nine sites that feature in the top 10 places are as follows:

A railway bridge in Darlington that witnessed the dawn of the railway age, a Roman road stretching hundreds of miles, and the Victorian forerunner to Butlins holiday camp are among the 10 places chosen today by historian and author Bettany Hughes for Historic England’s campaign Irreplaceable: A History of England in 100 Places, sponsored by Ecclesiastical.

Bettany Hughes, who has judged the Travel & Tourism category, is one of a panel of expert judges, including Mary Beard, George Clarke and David Olusoga, who will choose 10 places in 10 different categories from a long list of public nominations.

The campaign aims to find the 100 places which bring England’s extraordinary history to life and best demonstrate our collective identity.

All 10 places picked by Bettany will be explored in new episodes of the recently launched podcast series, hosted by Emma Barnett.

The 10 places in the Travel & Tourism category of A History of England in 100 Places are:

  • Skerne Bridge, Darlington: Spanning the River Skerne in the centre of Darlington, this bridge still carries daily railway traffic, making it the oldest railway bridge in the world in continuous use. In 1825 when the Stockton & Darlington Railway opened, Locomotion No.1, built by George Stephenson, passed over the bridge and began the railway age which was to change Britain and the world. For a time the bridge was on the back of the £5 note. The railways changed England forever, connecting distant towns and counties to each other and bringing the population closer together.
  • Fosse Way, stretching from Lincoln to Exeter: After the Roman invasion of Britain around 43AD, the Romans quickly built a road network of paved and gravel roads in a land where unpaved tracks were previously the norm. The network was around 15,000km in length, linking key military and administrative locations. Fosse Way was one of the most important Roman roads in the country and one of the longest, running from Exeter to Lincoln. The A46 follows the old road almost exactly from Leicester to Lincoln and some of the route survives as road or path south of Leicester and through the Cotswolds.
  • Clevedon Pier, Clevedon, Somerset: Opened in 1869, Clevedon Pier was built to receive paddle steamer passengers from Devon and Wales. A spectacular vestige of a Victorian seaside resort, it was constructed using Barlow rail tracks and is approaching its 150th anniversary. It is the only accessible Grade I listed pier in the country and was described by the poet John Betjemen as “the most beautiful pier in England”.
  • Dreamland, Margate: One of Britain’s oldest surviving amusement parks and home of the UK’s oldest operating roller coaster, the Grade II* listed Scenic Railway. The site of Dreamland (as it was re-named in 1920) dates back to the British railway boom and the early 1870s when, in its original form, the ‘Hall by the Sea’ was operated by a circus tycoon, the self-proclaimed “Lord” George Sanger.
  • Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem Inn, Nottingham: This claims to be the oldest inn in England, with its establishment stated as 1189. The word trip formerly meant stopping point on a journey, suggesting the inn was originally used by travellers, pilgrims and crusaders on the epic journey to Jerusalem. The inn is built beside and into the sandstone rock upon which Nottingham Castle stands. Among the curiosities inside the inn are a wooden chair which is said to increase the sitting woman’s chances of becoming pregnant and a model galleon in a glass case, which is cursed so that anyone who has dusted it has met a mysterious death.
  • The Grand Hotel, Scarborough, Yorkshire: When completed in 1867, The Grand Hotel was one of the largest hotels in the world, as well as one of the first giant purpose-built hotels in Europe, and now at over 150 years old it still welcomes visitors. The building is designed around the theme of time: four towers to represent the seasons, 12 floors for the months of the year, 52 chimneys symbolise the weeks, and originally there were 365 bedrooms, one for each day of the year. The hotel itself is in the shape of a ‘V’ in honour of Queen Victoria.
  • Caister Camp, Caister-on-Sea, Norfolk: Although Butlins, Pontins and Warners became popular, well known holiday camps in the mid twentieth century, they were certainly not the first of their kind. Caister Camp, close to the old Roman fort in the town near Norfolk, was one of the earliest holiday camps to use hut or chalet based accommodation that holiday camps became famous for. Caister’s camp was established on the Norfolk coast by John Fletcher Dodd in 1906, 30 years before Billy Butlin founded his inaugural camp in Skegness in 1936. Dodd was a tee-totalling grocer who fell in love with the area when he visited. He bought a small house there, put up some tents and the park was born. Dodd was a socialist and founding member of the Independent Labour Party and so initially this was a socialist holiday camp. Influential characters from the Labour party would come there, including George Bernard Shaw, and all guests were expected to help out with the chores.
  • Helvellyn, The Lake District, Cumbria: Although only the third highest peak in England, to many Helvellyn is the most enigmatic and evocative of the Lake District fells. With a commanding position between Ullswater to the east and Thirlmere to the west, Helvellyn has attracted hikers since it became a popular pastime in the area in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century. The Lake District, as well as being a place where people live and work, is also one of the most beautiful areas in England and has long been a destination for travellers and tourists alike. Celebrated author of guidebooks on the Lakeland fells Alfred Wainwright said of Helvellyn: “If it did not inspire affection would its devotees return to it so often?”
  • Pump rooms and Roman baths, Bath: The geothermal springs were the reason Bath developed as a city and this site has been a destination for tourists and travellers for thousands of years. The first shrine here was built by the Celts and the Romans worshipped the deity Sulis Minerva here. The great Roman buildings fell into disrepair and were built over after the Roman withdrawal, only to be rediscovered in the late 19th Bath was rejuvenated as a spa town in Georgian England and the Pump Rooms, were built around the springs. Fashionable society visited the city to bathe in the reputably healing hot springs and drink the supposedly curative spa water. Notable visitors to Bath and its spa include Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, Thomas Gainsborough, William Pitt the Younger and Lord Nelson.

Duncan Wilson, Chief Executive of Historic England said: “The desire to travel is in our bones, so charting how and where people have travelled around England through these 10 places is fascinating. From a natural spring around which a major city grew, to a Lake District fell which has inspired some of our greatest writers, England is full of places which have drawn travellers and tourists for thousands of years and will continue to play a central role in our national life.”

Faith Parish, who heads up Ecclesiastical’s heritage business, said: From ancient landscapes to havens of fun and amusement, these 10 places paint a diverse picture of how travel and tourism have helped shaped England. Bettany Hughes has selected some truly extraordinary places that reflect our nation’s passion for discovery and adventure and continue to inspire and excite people today, just as they did our ancestors. As a specialist insurer, we play our part in protecting some of the most important visitor attractions in the UK, from world heritage sites to castles, museums, art galleries and stately homes. We’re proud to protect the irreplaceable.”

Images can be found here:

The campaign continues

Historic sites across the country have shaped England and bring our history to life. Historic England and Ecclesiastical still need the public’s help to create a list of the 100 buildings and places which best tell the country’s story and how it has shaped the world.

The categories:

Science & Discovery, judged by Professor Robert Winston: discover his chosen 10

Homes & Gardens, judged by George Clarke

Sport & Leisure, judged by Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson

Music & Literature, judged by Monica Ali

Faith & Belief, judged by Revd. Davis Ison

Industry, Trade & Commerce, judged by Tristram Hunt

Loss & Destruction, judged by Mary Beard

Art, Architecture & Sculpture, judged by Will Gompertz

Power, Protest & Progress, judged by David Olusoga

Listen to the podcast:

Join the conversation: #100Places

About Historic England

Historic England (formerly known as English Heritage) is the public body that champions and protects England’s historic places, looking after the historic environment, providing expert advice, helping people protect and care for it and helping the public to understand and enjoy it.

About Ecclesiastical, sponsors of the project

Owned by a registered charity, Allchurches Trust, Ecclesiastical is a specialist insurer of the faith, heritage, fine art, charities, education and private client sectors. Ecclesiastical is one of the UK’s top five corporate givers to charity according to the 2016-2017 UK Guide to Company Giving. It has donated more than £67million to good causes in the last four years. Find out more at

Through Irreplaceable: A History of England in 100 Places, Historic England aims to encourage debate about which places best tell the country’s national story. Historic England recognise that there may be different theories about where certain historical events happened and we welcome discussion which will encourage better understanding of England’s history. The places identified as the sites of important events during this campaign may not be definitive – they have chosen the spots that are widely agreed to have witnessed historic events. History is often disputed and part of their job is to raise a debate and help people to engage with their history and the places where it’s marked.