Historical Photos Around Britain: 1860-1999

This varied selection looks at different eras in the history of Britain, from the Victorian age to the dawn of the 21st century.

The interior of a mine in Cornwall, 1893. The miners were working on a 30-degree slope, and the photographer wanted to capture that difficulty.

Inside Westminster Abbey, London. This was taken in 1860.

St Giles’ Fair in Oxford, 1905.

Art Deco pub sign and wall design, 1938. This was in Minster, Kent.

The junction of Steep Street and Trenchard Street in Bristol, 1866.

A house in Exeter, Devon. Before and after bomb damage from a German raid in WW2. (1942)

Liverpool Street Staion, London. (1960)

A courtroom in the Royal Courts of Justice, London. 1999.

Hanbury, Staffordhire. The aftermath of the largest ever explosion on British soil. An underground munitions store exploded on the 27th November 1944 and killed about 70 people.

An aerial view of the bomb damage in the City of London around St Paul’s Cathedral, taken in 1948.

Grimethorpe Colliery (Coal mine), South Yorkshire. Taken not long before it was closed down in 1993.

45 thoughts on “Historical Photos Around Britain: 1860-1999

  1. Fabulous finds again, Pete. I’ve visited the mining museum in Yorkshire and it is so difficult to imagine what life must have been like when you had to spend so many hours there….

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  2. (1) During the California gold rush, the miners worked on a 49-degree slope. That’s why they were called Miner 49’ers.
    (2) “Inside Westminster Abbey, London. This was taken in 1860.” Did London ever get it back? Stealing artwork is one thing. But stealing an abbey?
    (3) We don’t celebrate St. Giles here. That’s unfair.
    (4) Those who appreciated the Art Déco sign were disappointed to find out that the Prospect Inn featured antebellum architecture. (The inn didn’t want to be a slave to the design of its sign.)
    (5) Steep Street was named by tea drinkers.
    (6) Did the owner of the house in Exeter have Wohngebäudeversicherung (German homeowners insurance)?
    (7) I read about Liverpool Street Station in a newspaper column. Ever since, that station has enjoyed my full support.
    (8) Can I sue the royal court if a chandelier falls on my head?
    (9) I didn’t know the Brits had claimed soil on the moon. I don’t see a flag, so the area might still be up for grabs.
    (10) The damage around St. Paul’s Cathedral represents a mere blimp in time during the war.
    (11) “Blimey! This is place is grimy!”

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  3. That was a great walk of a great country.
    Are you aware of how many place names in the world are named after Britain = thousands.
    How did St Paul’s survive the blitz?
    “Its survival was mainly due to the efforts of a special group of firewatchers who were urged by PM Winston Churchill to protect the cathedral. 29 incendiaries fell on and around the cathedral, with one burning through the lead dome and threatening to fall into the dome’s wooden support beams.”
    But I think Pete’s suggestion it was used as a guide would be most likely.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The amount of place names derived from places in Britain is indeed huge. Colonialism accounted for that, and very few have been changed since.
      Thanks, Gavin.
      Best wishes, Pete.

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  4. I have always wondered why the Nazis spared St. Paul’s Cathedral. Was it because the Pope at the time kind of liked the Nazis or something? How did the Anglican churches fare in those days?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Many churches in London and around the country were completely destroyed, not least the famous destruction of Coventry Cathedral. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coventry_Blitz
      My own feeling about why St Pauls was never seriously damaged is that the Germans used it as a location guide into London, as it was one of the tallest buildings then.
      Or perhaps their bomb aimers were just not good enough?
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. I imagine the court of justice hadn’t changed much, just as Westminster Abbey hasn’t. I long for historical places. Not sure why other than fascination with them. The WW2 images always take me back to my roots. I suspect growing up right after the war as we did had quite a bit of influence on us. Maybe its why I keep reading about it? I feel that I would have been a dreadful coward.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree that the court has probably changed little. If we had been involved in WW2, I am sure we would have done what needed to be done. We wouldn’t have known any different. My mum was terrified of the bombing in London, but she endured it, as did everyone else.
      Best wishes, Pete.

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