Historic England launches new aerial photography explorer

STRIKING aerial shots of iconic landmarks and landscapes across the region taken over the past 100 years can now be viewed via a new online tool.

Today (March 22), Historic England is launching its new Aerial Photography Explorer – which for the first time allows users to search an online map showing aerial photographs of England over the past century.

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The platform will allow people immediate digital access to the collection of nationally significant aerial photographs of historic England.

%image(‘13595617’, type=”article-full”, alt=”Terry’s Chocolate Works, York The town of York thrived on the confectionery industry for many years. One of the main businesses was Terry’s , which built a new factory in 1926. Terry’s factory closed in 2005 and when this photo was taken in 2014 the factory was being converted for residential use. Image: Historic England”)

Over 400,000 images from 1919 to the present day have been added to the tool, covering nearly 30% of England, including major areas of the North East and North Yorkshire.

Images from the area include aerial photographs of St James’ Park football stadium in Newcastle taken in 1927, the industrial heritage of Sunderland, Middlesbrough and York, and the coastline of Seaham Harbor in County Durham and Saltburn in the North Yorkshire.

%image(‘13595598’, type=”article-full”, alt=”Sunderland’s shipbuilding heritage dates back hundreds of years. In the 19th century it was one of the largest in the world. This image shows the MV Andulo, which was built by Bartram & Sons, and was probably taken to record its completion in May 1949 Photo: Historic England.”)

Aerial imagery offers fascinating insight into the development and expansion of the country’s urban centers and changes in the rural landscape.

It can also reveal striking finds – such as ‘cropmarks’ showing archeology hidden beneath the surface.

By opening these images up to the public via the accessible online tool, Historic England hopes to enable people to research their local areas, providing insight into a century of change and development.

The new Aerial Photography Explorer tool will also provide a useful resource for industry professionals and local authorities, to assist with planning, heritage projects and archaeological research.

New images available online include South Tyneside’s Souter Lighthouse, industrial heritage including Sunderland shipbuilding in 1949, with a photo of the MV Andulo built by Bartram & Sons, and Middlesbrough’s Tees Newport Bridge, taken in 1933, a few months before its opening as well. like Terry’s Chocolate factory in York.

%image(‘13595592’, type=”article-full”, alt=”The Tees Newport Bridge was opened in 1934 and this image shows it a few months earlier, in June 1933. It was the first vertical lift bridge in England, meaning its central span has been raised and lowered to allow shipping to pass underneath. It was Grade II listed in 1988 Photo: Historic England”)

Coastal images include an aerial view of Saltburn from 1949 and Seaham Harbour, County Durham from 1941.

WWII anti-invasion measures are also depicted, including an early warning radar station and decoy airfields with dummy aircraft in North Yorkshire.

In North Yorkshire, Roman archeology can be seen in the hills above Malham in the Yorkshire Dales, World War II anti-invasion measures such as an early warning radar station at Bempton and a decoy airfield with dummy planes in Bossal.

In County Durham there is an image of Seaham Harbor taken by an RAF reconnaissance aircraft in 1941.

Around 300,000 of the photographs are the work of Historic England’s aerial survey and mapping team.

%image(‘13595602’, type=”article-full”, alt=”Souter Lighthouse was built in 1871 to protect shipping from the dangerous coastline in this part of Britain. The structure was pioneering, being the world’s first lighthouse to be powered by electricity Image: Historic England”)

Founded in 1967, the team takes photographs of England from the air to discover new archaeological sites, create archaeological maps and monitor the condition of historic sites across the country.

The remaining 100,000 images come from the Historic England Archive aerial photography collection, which has more than two million images in total, and includes important historical photographs, including images from between the wars and after. -war of Aerofilms Ltd and the Royal Air Force.

Duncan Wilson, Managing Director of Historic England, said: “I am delighted that our new online tool will make it easy for people to access our wonderful collection of aerial imagery and enjoy the historic photography that our team uses every day. to unlock the mysteries of England’s past. .”

%image(‘13595614′, type=”article-full”, alt=”A photograph of St James’ Park in October 1927 when only the West Stand was covered. Newcastle United entered the 1927/28 season as Premier League champions, which was their fourth and final league title, led by their prolific captain Hughie Gallacher.St James’ Park has been redeveloped over the years and its stands have been extended or rebuilt, resulting in the modern ground that we see today.)

Nigel Huddleston MP, Minister for Heritage, said: “What better way to discover our shared history than through this fascinating new online tool which offers a comprehensive view of our past.

“I look forward to learning more about my region and encouraging everyone to explore the thousands of English sites from the last century.”

Over the next few years Historic England aims to expand the platform as over six million aerial images in the Historic England Archive are digitized.

The Aerial Photography Explorer joins Historic England’s recently launched Aerial Archeology Mapping Explorer to provide unparalleled insight into England’s archeology and nation’s development.

To search the platform, visit HistoricEngland.org.uk/AerialPhotos

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Stewart C. Hartline