Share The Buildings You Love This Valentine’s Day
Grow Talk by Sofy Robertson
You may be a bit of a Valentine’s grump like me, or it may be an occasion you are desperately anticipating. Either way, Historic England are asking everyone to do something a little different this V Day: profess our love for the buildings and places that are close to our hearts.
We all have those special places in our lives that evoke memories; perhaps childhood trips to a particular stretch of coastline, visiting a historic theatre for the first time or getting swallowed by history at one of our country’s beautiful castles. It might be places that you see all the time on your walk to work (or even a place that you work!).
This February, Historic England would like us to celebrate “the unique buildings we live and work among” and recognise that they “have a special place in our hearts”. (Historic England) Whether it’s a local landmark or a historic icon, Historic England wants to hear about the buildings we cherish and find out why they are so special to us.
Calling all romances between buildings and humans
In the week leading up to Valentine’s, Historic England are calling for us to share photos, memories and even poems using the hashtag #BuildingsYouLove on social media to celebrate the individuality of our landmarks and spread the love.
Duncan Wilson, Historic England’s Chief Executive, explained:
“England is home to an incredible range of distinctive buildings from clock-towers and corner pubs to sweeping terraces and tiny cottages.
“We want people to call to mind their special places, look again at the buildings around them, and celebrate them. It’s about time the buildings we can’t live without get a share of the love this Valentine’s Day.”
Not sure what to say? Luckily a picture says a thousand words, but if you needed a little literary inspiration, luckily there are some public figures ready to lend their pen-hand.
Dan Snow, historian and TV presenter, shared his love for Battle Abbey:
“The most famous of battlefields, the most consequential of battles. This is my Valentine. Always will be.
“My dad and mum took my sisters and I there on countless occasions. We charged down the hill like Harold’s brothers, and then we rounded on ourselves, suddenly playing Normans, and slaughtering our erstwhile personas.”
Nile Rodgers, legendary co-founder of CHIC and Chairman of the Songwriters Hall of Fame expressed his love for Abbey Road Studios:
“ I can honestly say you haven’t truly visited London until you’ve set eyes on Abbey Road. Everyday it’s a joy to look out the window of my studio as I write and produce and watch people from all over the world pretending they are John, Paul, George and Ringo crossing Abbey Road. That’s a special moment no one, who has experienced it, will ever forget!”
Actor Russell Tovey chose the Barbican Centre, saying:
“The Barbican is an intoxicating time capsule in design. I’ve always felt a great surge of appreciation and real comfort for brutalist architecture, since being young and going to the National Theatre on a school trip to see Sweeney Todd and eventually being lucky enough to have worked inside the building, the vast concrete solidity fascinates me. The Barbican is this multiplied with a superb mixture of housing and entertainment.”
Need a little matchmaking?
If you’re struggling to choose the location for your love letter or are seeking inspiration for somewhere new to visit, Historic England have set up a matchmaking quiz to pick which architectural style suits you best. You can find out if your heart beats for Tudor, Victorian, Georgian, Art Deco or Brutalist architecture, or if you prefer an eclectic mix.
2019: Loss and Destruction
Sharing the love for our historic favourites is the first activity in Historic England’s Loss and Destruction season.
Throughout the year, Historic England will be looking at why our collective history and heritage is so important to us and why we need to look after it.
In particular, they are focusing upon buildings and places that are at risk because of neglect, lack of use or conflict and asking people to question what would happen if these were lost.
To find out more about the events that Historic England are running as part of their Loss and Destruction theme, visit their website.
Let the romances commence!
It’s time to get sharing; don’t forget to use the hashtag #BuildingsYouLove and tag in #GrowTalk to share them with us.
We can’t wait to hear about your romances and see the snaps of your favourite places. So, to round off, here are a few of ours.
Alice Bryan, our Head of Business Development and Events, chose Powderham Castle, saying:
“It’s really romantic there, it takes my breath away.”
Rowena Stoneman, Operations and Distributions Manager for Grow, chose Dunster Castle:
“I take my children there and it has secret passageways! I love Dunster, it’s a beautiful old town.”
Stella Nicholls, our Content Editor, loves Cardiff Castle:
“I was born in Cardiff and when I was little, they used to have military tattoos there. I used to go and watch them and it felt like the most exciting time of my life.”
Joff Alexander-Frye, Grow’s Editor in Chief, has a special place in his heart for Coldharbour Mill in Uffculme:
“It’s where I proposed to my wife, Jodie. It’s an olden woollen mill and has a river that runs beside it. We got engaged on Bonfire Night and we saw all of the fireworks below us.”
Sarah Reis, Graphic Designer at Grow, chose the cathedral where she married her husband: St George’s in Lambeth.
“It’s not very pretty on the outside but it’s beautiful on the inside, just like me and my husband, Pedro. He was hatched there and wanted to be matched there, and later dispatched there!”