British Heritage Awards - Best Heritage website 2010

Posted: 2010-12-16

British Heritage Awards - Best Heritage website 2010

Well, after the overwhelming excitement of the first few British Heritage awards for 2010

[start of rant] Honestly, tourist boards across the UK, get going! One of the best, I would wager the very best, selling point about the UK, especially to foreign visitors, is the wonderfully rich history of this country. How many people come to Britain each year because of its heritage? I'd say the number is mighty high. Yet so few tourism bodies seem to pay more than lip service to promoting heritage through their websites.

It is generally left to private companies or passionate individuals to really provide in-depth details about historic places, events, time periods, or people in British history.

So here's my plea to official tourism bodies across the UK: do a better job of promoting British heritage! Please. Put some resources into providing real information about the history of your area, the historic places to see, the famous and infamous inhabitants, the social history of your area - in short, make the past come alive! It's not like there's a lack of material out there! [/end of rant]

Er, right, where was I? Ah, I remember, I was about to announce the winner of the Best Heritage Website 2010. Here we go with the list of candidates, and there are really some terrific websites on this shortlist ...

  1. Genuki
  2. Current Archaeology
  3. Council for British Archaeology (Britarch)
  4. Britannia
  5. PastScape (National Monuments Record)
  6. Coflein (Welsh National Monuments Record)
  7. RCAHMS (Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland)
  8. English Heritage
  9. National Trust

And the winner of the Britain Express British Heritage Awards Best Heritage website for 2010 is ...

Wow! What an amazing resource this genealogy website is. Don't be put off by its extremely simple (one might even say, archaic) interface, Genuki holds a massive amount of historical information about every region of the UK and Ireland, through a huge collection of historic data, genealogical records, and historic writings. If you can't find it here, it probably doesn't exist.

Honourable mention goes to ...

PastScape (National Monuments Record)
Under the far-reaching umbrella of the main English Heritage website, Pastscape contains a massive database of information on historic buildings across England. The search interface can be a bit awkward, but the range of information is quite staggering.

Probably the best single source of information on English history online; Britannia has been around for a long, long time in Internet terms, and the depth and quality of the historical information just continues to grow and grow. The biography section is exceptionally good - if you need to look up details on an historic person, this should be your first stop online.

And a special mention to the English Heritage website, with its profusion of 'mini-websites' on specific heritage themes. Taken as a whole, it seems that English Heritage has embraced the Internet and made a real effort to create accessible heritage information for interested users. Well done.

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