How the men from the ministry saved England's heritage

It is 100 years since the British state began officially collecting historic buildings and sites - and opening them up to the public. The acquisition of hundreds of places saw the creation of what was, in effect, an outdoor museum of national history.

In England, much of the work of protecting and preserving the National Heritage Collection now lies in the hands of English Heritage.

Here, its chief executive Simon Thurley - author of Men from the Ministry: How Britain Saved its Heritage - looks back at why the extraordinary collecting frenzy happened in the first place, and how, to a certain extent, it continues today.

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All images subject to copyright. Click bottom right for image information.

Images from English Heritage, National Archives, National Trust, PA, Getty Images, National Motor Museum, Kelvin Trundle and Simon Rendall.

Music by Reliable Source Music. Slideshow production by Paul Kerley. Publication date 23 May 2013.

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