Heritage, civilisation and oblivion in inter-war Britain: The case of the city churches

Ben Weinstein*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This essay investigates public debates over the prospective loss of Christopher Wren’s City of London churches as a window onto changing public attitudes to ‘heritage’ and historic preservation during the inter-war years. It argues that the Great War made a profound impact on the ways in which the British public engaged with notions of heritage and historic preservation. In particular, this essay claims that inter-war debates over church demolition expose the considerable extent to which the war popularised conceptualisations of ‘heritage’ which had, since the 1870s, been entertained exclusively by a small cultural elite.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)39-55
JournalCultural and Social History
Volume19
Issue number1
Early online date7 Feb 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Keywords

  • heritage
  • conservation
  • Great War
  • city churches

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