Heritage is all around us: millions belong to its organisations, tens of thousands volunteer for it, and politicians pay lip service to it. When the Victorians began to employ the term in something approaching the modern sense, they applied it to cathedrals, castles, villages and certain landscapes. Since then a multiplicity of heritage labels have arisen, cultural and commercial, tangible and intangible – for just as every era has its notion of heritage, so does every social group, and every generation.
In Heritage, James Stourton focuses on elements of our cultural and natural environment that have been deliberately preserved: the British countryside and national parks, buildings such as Blenheim Palace and Tattersall Castle, and the works of art inside them. He charts two heroic periods of conservation – the 1880s and the 1960s – and considers whether threats of wealth, rampant development and complacency are similar in the present day.
Join us in the heritage-rich St Peter’s Church for an engaging discussion of a story of crisis and profound change in public perception.
James Stourton is a British art historian. He frequently lectures to Cambridge University History of Art Faculty, Sotheby’s Institute of Education and The Art Fund, and is a senior fellow of the Institute of Historical Research. He also sits on the Heritage Memorial Fund, a government panel which meets to decide what constitutes heritage and should be saved for the nation.