Celebrate Heritage Treasures day with our 15 fun facts

Portrait of Elizabeth I
In the Armada Portrait, Elizabeth I's pearls are symbols of chastity and the moon
Happy #HeritageTreasures day! In celebration, here are 15 of our favourite facts from just some of the thousands of National Lottery-funded heritage projects we’ve supported over the last 25 years.

To celebrate the UK’s incredible and diverse heritage, we’ve named 11 January annual #HeritageTreasures day.

To get involved share your #HeritageTreasures with us on social media using the hashtag and let us know why you’ve chosen it.

Did you know?

First slide

Wicksteed Park in Northamptonshire has the world's first slide! The 13ft-high slide was built in 1922 using three long planks with nothing to hold on to apart from the top.

Old bun

There is a 100-year-old bun in the Leominster Museum collection.

Big bat babies

The Back from the Brink project told us that young bats are born well developed, making up around 30% of the mothers’ body mass - equivalent to a human birthing a six-year-old child.

Party pranks

Guests at Seaton Delaval Hall in Northumberland were victim to pranks such as a mechanical bed that dropped occupants into freezing water!

Monuments of the Glen

Kilmartin Glen in Scotland contains over 800 ancient monuments and sites within a six-mile radius - spanning an amazing 5,000 years of history.

Vinegar Valentines

The Postal Museum in London told us that Victorians used to send Vinegar Valentines with bitter messages in to people they didn’t like. Because the recipient covered the relatively expensive postage, they actually paid to be insulted – a double whammy in the heart and in the pocket.

Witch marks

A series of witch marks were discovered at Knole House in Kent. They were uncovered during the conservation project in a room built for the visit of James I dating back to the Gunpowder Plot.

Rugby trailblazer

The Crossing the Line project told us that Julia Lee was the first woman to referee men’s Rugby League.

Elizabeth I decoded

The National Maritime Museum told us that many Tudor portraits are packed with meaning and metaphor. Queen Elizabeth I’s upright posture, open arms and clear gaze in the Armada Portrait speak of vitality and strength. She is draped in pearls – symbols of chastity and the moon.

Unique daffodils

Dyffryn Gardens in Wales has its own variety of daffodils.

Global pens

Birmingham's Pen Museum revealed that at the height of the steel pen trade, 75% of anything written in the world was written with a Birmingham pen.

Last gas

There are nine gas lights in Leeds' Hyde Park Picture House that were originally installed to stop ‘inappropriate behaviour’ in the back seats. It is the last remaining gas-lit cinema in the UK (and possibly the world!).

Floating hotels

Titanic Hotel Belfast told us that many of the world’s most famous ocean liners were designed and built in Belfast by Harland & Wolff. The company played an important role in the creation of the ‘floating hotel’.

Fossil fun

The Lapworth Museum of Geology told us that fossilised poo is called coprolites and scientists have found coprolites from Tyrannosaurus Rex dinosaurs that contain bits of crushed bones.

Potter places

National Lottery-funded Gloucester Cathedral, Durham Cathedral and Hardwick Hall were all Harry Potter filming locations!

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