Words by Alice Wilkinson
To mark St George’s day today, VisitEngland has opened England’s Hall of Fame 2014; an open air photography exhibition on London’s Southbank celebrating the many places, products and people that “make England fascinating and diverse”. Each of the 18 pictures depicting these quintessential English items has been selected by a panel of experts from hundreds of suggestions made by members of the public. The exhibition displays the gold, silver and bronze award winners for each of these six categories: History and Heritage, The Great, The Good and The Notorious, Food and Drink, Inventions and Discoveries, Sports and Leisure, and Culture and Entertainment. From The Beatles to The Bakewell Pudding, the Hall of Fame showcases the fundamental elements of English culture in 2014. Here are a couple of our favourites…
It won gold in the Food and Drink category, but do you know the origin of the sandwich? This essential part of an English afterrnoon tea is named after its inventor, John Montagu, the 4th Earl of Sandwich at Woburn Abbey in Buckinghamshire.
Awarded gold status in The Great, The Good and The Notorious is Octavia Hill who co-founded the National Trust in 1885. First established to raise awareness of the threats that railway developments were posing to the Lake District, the National Trust now has 3.4 million members. Visit Octavia’s birthplace museum in Wisbech, Cambridgeshire.
Awarded silver in the Culture and Entertainment category is Hampshire’s Highclere Castle, a national favourite as the real-life location of ITV’s Downtown Abbey. The castle opens to visitors for around 60 days a year, and promises a lovely day out in the country with beautiful gardens, a tearoom, gift shop and even an Egyptian Exhibition displayed in the cellar of the property.
The Hall of Fame runs from today until 30 April at Observation Point, Southbank, London. Find out more at visitengland.com.