History & Heritage

Dig deep for history and heritage museum events and exhibitions, collections and news. Listings from thousands of museums, archives and heritage sites plus features and links.

A photo of a golden Christmas cracker on a table in front of a glass of wine and candle

From World War I fairly lights to Crimbo: The real meaning of Christmas customs

Who knew that baubles used to be viewed with disdain and the Oxford English Dictionary editors originally consider nativity "a bit posh"? Find out the truth behind Christmas words.

A photo of a female curator looking at a piece of silver as part of a hoard wearing a white glove

Archaeologists begin work on hacked-up silver buried in Scotland during decline of Roman Empire

National Museums Scotland will examine more than 100 pieces of hacked-up silver, coins and jewellery, buried in an Aberdeenshire field during the 4th and 6th centuries.

A photo of a large dark green statue head of a roman emperor

Decapitated head of Emperor which amazed archaeologists in Sudan in 1910 goes on display

The remainder of Emperor Augustus' statue known as the Merӧe Head, trampled upon by visitors to a victory building after a Roman reverse, has gone on show at the British Museum.

A photo of two children locking arms with a statue outside a historic house

Peter Pan birthplace to become Scottish Centre for Children's Stories after winning £1.8 million

The house that inspired JM Barrie to pen the children's novel Peter Pan has received a £1.8 million Lottery grant, which will see it transformed into a children's literature centre.

Archaeologists invite public to ponder mysteries as high-status prehistoric Racton Man goes on display

First discovered in a field in 1989, a near-complete Bronze Age skeleton with an arm wound which may have killed him stayed in storage for 23 years. Now he's gone on show in Sussex.

a black and white photo of a Junkers 88 in flight

Remains of German WWII Junkers Ju 88 bomber recovered from Thames Estuary

The remnants of a German Junkers Ju 88 bomber shot down by a Norwegian Spitfire ace have been recovered from the Thames Estuary by Wessex Archaeology.

A photo of a road leading through green fields under a blue sky

Tombs in Neolithic Orkney reveal ancient beliefs, taboos and superstitions of mourners and dead

Beverley Ballin Smith, an archaeologist working on three tombs and cists on Orkney, says the evidence of changing belief systems have provided the most "exciting and varied" discoveries of her life.

A photo of a diary with handwritten black ink on faded yellow paper

"The Germans started shouting to us 'come out'": Diary details World War I Christmas truce

A diary account of the famous Christmas Day football match of 1914, written by a Lieutenant who reckoned it would sound "a very tall story", is about to be revealed at the National Football Museum.

A photo of archaeologists in high-visibility jackets working on a snowy mountain setting

Palisaded settlement and Iron Age roundhouse reveal story of prehistoric Scottish communities

Archaeologists have published their findings from an excavation at Ravelrig Hill, a site overlooking Edinburgh which was first investigated in 2009.

A black and white photo of a man in a naval uniform hugging a reindeer in the 1940s

Russian reindeer given to British submarine crew during World War II becomes BBC One star

A reindeer which was loaded through the torpedo hatch of a Trident submarine with a barrel of moss in a gift from Russian allies is about to have its story told on The One Show.

A photo of a small oval gold brooch

Axeheads, burials, knives and more from the Viking cemetery which amazed archaeologists in Cumbria

The latest work by archaeologists at Cumwhitton, in Cumbria, has been nominated for a prestigious archaeological award. See some of the discoveries made at the site since 2004.

A black and white photo of a soldier's helmet on a floor with a crack in it

Conflict, Time, Photography: Tate Modern's powerful portrayal of the lasting effects of war

Working from the time passed since each war portrayed, Tate Modern's huge new exhibition takes Kurt Vonnegut's SlaughterHouse-Five as an initial influence.

A photo of a shard of white military pottery

Archaeologists reveal finds from first survey of Britain's largest First World War airfield

Working in inclement conditions at the aerodrome which was Britain's largest World War I airfield, archaeologists have found anti-bomb glass, copper, nails, pottery and more.

A black and white etching of a Georgian woman lounging on a sofa wearing a dress

Work of little-known female printmakers of Georgian England revealed 200 years after leading engraver's death

Curators say the letters of Caroline Watson, the finest female printmaker of Georgian England, read "like a Jane Austen novel" in an exhibition at Cambridge's Fitzwilliam Museum.

A black and white photo of a busy ancient railway station with a huge arched roof

The English Railway Station: See photos from 200 years of British railway history

From the early 19th century Southampton station designed in the form of an Italian town palace to the modern reimagining of St Pancras, a new survey reveals how railways changed Britain.

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