Heritage can be so many things – memories, archives, parks, museums, landscapes, culture... This month we present just a small selection of some fantastic projects supported by The National Lottery Heritage Fund over the past 25 years.
We'll be sharing a different project on each day of advent, running through each year of our 25-year history. Head to Twitter, Facebook or Instagram to see more using #NationalLottery25 #AdventCalendar.
December 25 – Places of Poetry, 2019
In 2019, the Places of Poetry project launched the search for thousands of poems.
The project was inspired by Michael Drayton’s Poly-Olbion (1612-22) which describes England and Wales. The 15,000-line poem was published with unique maps by the engraver William Hole.
An interactive map based on those 17th century maps has been created. Ordnance Survey data allowed map users to zoom to a high-level of modern detail and choose where to pin their poems – whether on a town, local landmark or street-corner.
Communities were invited to add their own poems to the map and poem workshops took place across England and Wales.
Professor Andrew McRae of the University of Exeter, one of the project's leaders, said: “We hope the map will inspire people to write, whatever their age or experience."
“The aim is to encourage people to think about heritage from different angles, such as environmental, industrial, religious, cultural or sporting. We want to celebrate the diversity, history and character of the places around us.”
A festive poem from the map
Christmas At Golitha Falls
By Clare Dwyer
Under a hard white winter sky,
small fields of moorland grass;
granite walls hem King Doniert’s Stone.
We drop down the steep-sided river valley.
Leaving the car, cold air hits
sharp as lemon on the tongue.
Hearing the peaty water busy amongst stones
clamouring for the freedom of the sea.
We pick our way through tree roots
exposed over time by passing feet,
stepping on brown leaves
their edges lightly frilled with frost.
Little trickles of bird song are woven
into the soft sibilants of water
pouring over, through, boulders;
banks hang with diamante icicles.
All is just as it should be,
this shining winter walk
to ease our stomachs.
We turn for home, to tea and Christmas cake.
Other featured projects
Tees-Swale Naturally Connected, 2018
Back from the Brink, 2017
Lincoln Cathedral, 2015
Beamish, County Durham, 2014
Titanic Hotel Belfast, Northern Ireland, 2013
Ben Nevis, Scotland, 2012
Temperate House, Kew Gardens, 2011
The Piece Hall, Halifax, 2010
Stonehenge, Wiltshire, 2009
Mary Rose Museum, Portsmouth, 2008
York Minster Revealed, York, 2007
People's History Museum, Manchester, 2006
Victoria & Albert Museum, London, 2005
Wedgwood Museum, Stoke-on-Trent, 2004
Royal Festival Hall, London, 2003
Stowe House, Buckinghamshire, 2002
Imperial War Museum, AirSpace, Duxford, 2001
SS Great Britain, Bristol, 2000
Newsplan, UK-wide, 1999
Cardiff Castle, Cardiff, 1998
British Museum, London, 1997
Lister Park, Bradford, 1996
Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh, 1995
25 years of funding for heritage
Over the past 25 years, The National Lottery Heritage Fund has been the largest dedicated grant funder of the UK’s heritage. We’ve awarded £8bn to more than 44,000 projects across the UK.