Researching, restoring and preserving the historic environment

We raise funds for projects that ensure our nation’s heritage is celebrated and protected for future generations to enjoy.

Our nation’s historic buildings and landmarks provide a window into our past, helping us to understand how people lived in different eras and the key events that shaped our nation’s history and cultural heritage.

We accept donations to help protect, restore, understand and celebrate these places, so they can be passed to future generations in the best possible condition.

Case study: Shrewsbury Flaxmill Maltings

The Historic England Foundation has raised over £1 million towards the restoration of the Main Mill and Kiln at Shrewsbury Flaxmill Maltings, the grandparent of the skyscraper.

Read more about how we are saving this marvel of engineering.

Case study: X-ray equipment making new discoveries

The first step in safeguarding our heritage is to understand what protection it needs.

Funding from The Wolfson Foundation enabled Historic England to buy a cutting-edge X-ray machine which is revealing new information and unexpected discoveries, such as finding a Bronze Age axe in a log coffin in Tetney, Lincolnshire, or a potential Roman Cavalry helmet in a soil block from an ancient historic site.

The equipment helps us to understand how artefacts were constructed and what materials were used. X-raying can reveal internal structures or components that are not visible to the naked eye or find hidden damage or decay that may require attention.

As well as providing vital clues to an object's past, it can also help us to know how we can best preserve them. We are also gaining better insights into historical production methods, techniques, and technologies, which can help researchers to better understand the historical context of the object and its significance.

X-ray images help historians and museum professionals to tell the story of how historic artefacts and buildings were created and used, inspiring people with the history that surrounds us.

Two images of a sculpture of the head of a man. The image on the right is a
X-ray of Ronald Moody’s 1950s sculpture ‘The Youth’ from Leicester Museums & Galleries. © Historic England/Karla Graham

X-ray equipment making archaeological discoveries from the Rooswijk shipwreck

See how the X-ray equipment is revealing coins, tools and other objects from this remarkable underwater discovery.