Daily Archives: 27 January, 2010

History around us

Where exactly IS History?

Interesting thought isnt it. Classrooms? Books? Films? Museums? Libraries? Stately homes? Maybe in times gone by History was something that was taught by teachers, written by authors, shown in films or stored in glass cases. Sadly, this meant that history became about castles, kings, battles, generals, paintings and the like. Whilst these are all pretty interesting, they are only a small part of the picture.

But the world is a different place. When was you house built? Where did the bricks come from? Take a walk out of your door. Whats the name of your road? Why is it called it that? Who decided to build a road there? Even think about the road itself – when did tarmac start getting used for roads? Whats the name of your local pub? Chances are heres something historic aout it.

When you go to work, how do you get there? How did people get to work 100 years ago? And I bet they didnt have nearly so much leave back then! Look at the countryside – ‘England’s pleasant land’ hasn’t always been like that: hundreds of years ago England was mainly woodland. Why was it cut down? What was it used for?

In fact, you could say that History isnt really a subject itself -its just the art of looking at absolutely anything over time. You can find history anywhere and anything. There is as much history to be found on a council estate as there is in any ancient town. Everywhere you go, and everything you do, there is history. And its not just in the bricks or the artefacts.. its in their stories.

In my mind, it is easier to say where History isn’t. The answer? Thin air*!

(* well, technically you could talk about the history of physics and molecular science…)

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