There’s not long to go now until Wiki Loves Monuments returns in September 2018, when you can start uploading your photos of heritage monuments in the UK and try to win one of our prizes!
As we’ve been running the competition for several years now, we already have external photos of quite a few of the top tourist sites. But we’re still missing images of many interesting local or lesser-known sites. And we have very few high-quality photographs of interiors. With that in mind we thought we would write an update on last year’s blogpost on heritage open days to suggest places you can go to take photos of interiors.
For England, check out the Heritage Open Days website here. The open days this year are on 6-9 & 13-16 September and you can search for events in your area here or by region here. This is the first time that the events will be held across two weekends, as more and more places are participating.
The theme of this year’s event is Extraordinary Women to mark the centenary of Women’s Suffrage, and there are a number of places to visit that tell the stories of great women such as Gertrude Bell and Marianne North.
Other events giving you a rare look into heritage sites in September include Open House London (22-23rd September).
Events in Wales are organised by Cadw. See the list of events here. For more ideas, see this page.
If you are planning on taking photos at one of these events, why not get in touch and let us know? If you are a member of Wikimedia UK (only £5 a year! Join us here). You can also borrow photographic equipment for free to help you take photos for the competition. Don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have questions about how to get involved or submit your photos!
When someone mentions mills you might think of picturesque windmills or massive textile mills of the Industrial Revolution. Both are often protected historic sites in the UK, and Wiki Loves Monuments has plenty of impressive photos.
Herringfleet was built in the early 19th century and today is a Grade II* listed building.
North West England is particularly well known for its role in the Industrial Revolution.
Tone Mill in Somerset was part of the largest woollen mill in South West England.
"War memorial Birkenhead" by Man vyi is in the public domain. The memorial was designed by Lionel Budden.
"Southend-on-Sea war memorial" by John Allan is licensed CC BY-SA 2.0. The memorial was designed by Edwain Lutyens.
"Sculpture of Quintin Hogg" by User:Chmee2 is licensed CC BY-SA 3.0. The memorial was designed by George Frampton.
"London The Cenotaph" by Andrew Shiva is licensed CC BY-SA 4.0. The memorial was designed by Edwain Lutyens.
The First World War caused carnage on a scale not seen before or since. In its aftermath, thousands of memorials were erected in Britain as in the other countries involved. They started as a way for communities to mourn their dead, given that the vast majority of bodies were never repatriated, and became a focal point for local remembrance ceremonies which continue a century on.
I have been editing Wikipedia since 2009 with a particular interest in military history. About two years ago, I was looking for a project related to the First World War centenary and noticed that Wikipedia’s coverage of war memorials was patchy. I decided to start with the works of Edwin Lutyens.
Lutyens is probably best known today for his country houses, but the war profoundly affected him and much of his work from 1914 onwards focused on commemorating the casualties. He designed around 50 memorials in towns, cities, and villages across England as well as one in Wales and dozens of memorials and cemeteries in France and Belgium. His most famous memorial in Britain is the Cenotaph on London’s Whitehall and this served as the model for many of his other works, including memorials in Southampton, Rochdale, and Manchester. I began by creating articles for those of Lutyens’ memorials that didn’t already have one, starting with the Gerrards Cross Memorial Building.
I started there because I’d been to Gerrards Cross with a friend and fellow Wikipedian Chris McKenna and because it’s an anomaly among Lutyens’ memorials (it was the only war memorial he designed with a functional purpose). Being a perfectionist and having a full-time job, it took me a few months but all 43 of Lutyens’ free-standing war memorials in Britain now have a Wikipedia article and I’m working my way through those that already had articles. These are taking longer because they tend to be big city centre monuments with a lot of detail to cover. So far I’ve taken five war memorial articles (Northampton, Devon County, Spalding, North Eastern Railway, and York City) to featured article status, the highest level of recognition an article can be granted by the community, which comes after months of detailed review and criticism. Eventually, I’m hoping that those will be joined by several more and that these can be showcased on Wikipedia’s main page, hopefully on major anniversaries.
So how can you get involved?
Well, war memorials are everywhere. Even tiny rural villages often have a war memorial and in my opinion these are often more poignant than many of the memorials in big cities – in some cases, you can see more names on the memorial than houses in the village, which truly shows the scale of the First World War. The simplest and easiest way to get involved is to take a photo of your local war memorial or any other war memorial you pass. The good news is that many of them are listed buildings and Historic England are listing more throughout the centenary, which means you can enter photos of them into the Wiki Love Monuments Competition. It is the world’s largest photography competition, and was started to share images of our heritage. If you add your photos of war memorials near you, you are helping the whole world share in this important part of history.
For the more adventurous, many of the listed memorials will be notable enough that you can write a Wikipedia article about them. Memorials in big cities or by famous architects will probably already have an article but there might be new information you can add. There are over 1500 memorials currently listed and Historic England are aiming to list another 1000 – there will presumably be dozens or hundreds more in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland – so the chances are you won’t have to look far from home for inspiration.
Heritage sites are opening their doors around the UK during september, giving you a chance to see some quirky, iconic and hidden places that the public does not ordinarily get to see. Most of the events are free to attend.
In London, Open Doors takes place on September 16/17. You can apply to visit Downing Street, Gray’s Inn and Lancaster House as well as the lesser known Buddhapadipa Temple, Crystal Palace Subway, National Liberal Club, Valence House and Stationers’ Hall. There are over 800 buildings open to the public in London alone, which you can browse on the Open House London site.
Of course, all this creates an amazing opportunity for people to go and take photos of heritage for #WikiLovesMonuments 2017! So what are you waiting for? Don’t forget to add your images with the Wiki Loves Monuments online tool.
With 1.3 million visitors in 2014, Stonehenge is just about the most famous prehistoric site in the UK. There are some striking monuments which have withstood the elements for thousands of years, and some examples from the previous editions of Wiki Loves Monuments are below.
There are about 3,500 hillforts across the UK from the Iron Age and Late Bronze Age. They can be absolutely huge, as big as 20 hectares and you often need some distance to appreciate them.
This prehistoric mound is part of a landscape designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site which includes Avebury and Stonehenge.
You don’t often get to see inside a prehistoric monument.
Orkney is renowned for its prehistoric sites, including Skara Brae (a Neolithic settlement) and the ring of Brogdar, a stone circle.
And of course no trip through the UK’s prehistory would be complete without Stonehenge!
The UK is rich with heritage and the Romans left behind their mark on the landscape. Below are some striking pictures from the UK’s first two editions of Wiki Loves Monuments. Will you be adding your photos to the mix this year?
Bath is a very popular subject for photographers, and it’s easy to see why!
Marking the northern extent of the Roman Empire, Hadrian’s Wall stretches for miles.