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The earliest uses of the term ‘heritage’ by the Victorians in the 1880s described the countryside, cathedrals, castles and works of art they thought should be preserved. Ever since, each generation has had its own notion of what ‘heritage’ means.
James Stourton looks at what heritage is, past, present and future. He explores why some elements of our cultural and natural environment have been deliberately preserved and why certain eras, like the 1880s and 1960s, saw particularly intense conservation efforts.
Today, the same threats of wealth, development and complacently abound, making heritage conservation continuingly relevant.
James Stourton is an art historian and a former UK Chairman of Sotheby’s. He is an award-winning author of twelve books, including Great Houses of London.
As well as regularly writing for The Times, The Daily Telegraph, The Independent and The Spectator, he lectures at Cambridge University History of Art faculty, Sotheby’s Institute of Education, The Georgian Group and Art Fund. He has also appeared on BBC Four’s Bought with Love: The Secret History of British Art Collections.