Why Women's History Month Is in March
The Independent

History fans rejoice!

Historic England have launched a new Aerial Photography Explorer which will allow people to search and explore an online map showing aerial snaps of England over the past 100 years.

Navigating the map and getting a birds-eye view of England gives users an insight into how the nation’s urban centres and rural landscapes have changed over the past century.

Over 400,000 snaps from 1919 to the present day have been added to the tool, covering almost 30 per cent (about 15,000 square miles) of England.

Most of the images, around 300,000, are the work of Historic England’s Aerial Investigation and Mapping team. Established 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.

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The remaining 100,000 images come from the Historic England Archive aerial photography collection, which numbers over six million images in total, and includes important historic photography, including interwar and post-war images from Aerofilms Ltd and The Royal Air Force.

To celebrate the release of the map, here are what 11 iconic English landmarks looked like in the past, and what they look like today:

Buckingham Palace: 1951

Buckingham Palace: 2015

Trafalgar Square: 1930


Trafalgar Square: 2021


Westminster: 1949


Westminster: 2006


Tower Bridge: 1929


Tower Bridge: 2021


Stonehenge: 1948


Stonehenge: 2013


Blackpool Tower: 1920


Blackpool Tower: 2012


Brighton: 1949


Brighton: 2016


Cerne Abbas Giant: 1947


Cerne Abbas Giant: 2015



Royal Albert Dock, Liverpool: 1920


Royal Albert Dock, Liverpool: 2008


York Minster: 1947


York Minster: 2014


Bridges over the Tyne: 1981

Bridges over the Tyne: 2005




To check out a specific landmark or area for yourself, visit Historic England’s website.

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