Historic England is looking to identify 100 most significant spots

The apple tree at Woolsthorpe Manor in Lincolnshire, where Sir Isaac Newton was born and where he developed his theory on gravity. Copyright: Historic England Archive

Historic England has launched a campaign, ‘Irreplaceable: A History of England in 100 Places’, sponsored by specialist insurer, Ecclesiastical, to identify the places where vital discoveries and inventions were made.

This is, in part, in response to a YouGov poll that revealed a widespread lack of knowledge about where ground-breaking moments in England’s history happened.

For example, nearly a third of respondents said that the atom was first split in Geneva, Switzerland (32%) and only 12% said Manchester, where it actually happened. And, more people believed bungee jumping was invented in New Zealand (41%) than in Bristol (10%), where it actually began.

Historic England and Ecclesiastical are calling on the public, history groups and experts to help them create a list of the 100 buildings and places which best tell England’s remarkable story and its impact on the world.

The year-long campaign is divided into ten categories, from Science & Discovery and Homes & Gardens, to Music & Literature and Industry, Trade & Commerce. Each category will focus on ten places which will be chosen from a long list of public nominations by expert judges.

The panel of judges includes Mary Beard, George Clarke, Tristram Hunt, Professor Robert Winston, Bettany Hughes and Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson.

The places that make the list will feature in a podcast series and a handbook, which will be produced as part of the campaign over the following year.

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