The term ‘heritage’ is used to refer to anything that has historic or cultural value which can be passed from one generation to the next. Heritage can include physical things created by humans such as objects, buildings and monuments as well as non-physical things such as traditions, crafts, ceremonies, songs, literature, digital material, stories and memories. Heritage activities bring people today into contact with their heritage, and can include visiting, watching, listening, reading, handling, teaching, re-enacting and re-creating.
Why heritage matters
Recent research carried out by BritainThinks for the Heritage Lottery Fund revealed that ‘the UK’s heritage helps make us happier about where we live, and puts heritage firmly at the heart of shaping and improving quality of life across the UK.’
After talking to 4,000 people, they found that:
- 93% see heritage as important to ‘the country’
- 81% see heritage as important to ‘me personally’
- 80% say local heritage makes their area a better place to live
- 64% think local heritage has got better while they have lived in the area
People see heritage delivering benefits that relate directly to their quality of life, bringing economic benefits like tourism and creating good jobs, making places more visually attractive, providing family leisure opportunities, helping people to understand where they come from, instilling local pride and encouraging social cohesion.
Heritage in Lincolnshire today
What do you think of when you think about heritage in Lincolnshire? There are lots of well-known stories about Lincolnshire’s past, but which stories do you think it’s important to tell? Perhaps you know of a ‘hidden’ history that you think should be shared, or you might be involved with a group who are eager to learn more about the stories linked to a particular place, time, or theme. Take part in our survey to share your views on your heritage.
Abandoned antennae dishes at RAF Stenigot, Donington-on-Bain. Photo credit: Darren Flinders, 2015, CC BY-ND 2.0
The aims of the Our Lincolnshire Initiative
‘Our Lincolnshire’ is an initiative funded by Arts Council England (ACE), aiming to understand the value that inhabitants of, and visitors to, Lincolnshire place on the county’s heritage, and the relevance this has to them. These insights will then help inform future strategies for heritage curation and service provision.
There has been recognition by the county heritage sector that the heritage of rural areas of Lincolnshire does not attract as much attention as the many iconic city-centred attractions, facilities and services. This separation between people in Lincolnshire and their county heritage is thought to generate indifference towards heritage sites and collections, which presents challenges for reviewing the purpose and function of museums and heritage services.
Re-connecting people in Lincolnshire with their heritage in a meaningful and creative way is needed to justify the continued collection, curation and presentation of heritage, so that is effective in encouraging responsible guardianship of heritage, building social capital within communities, and ensuring this resource reflects, meets and advances contemporary interests, needs and aspirations. The issue of how best to achieve these aims for rural heritage affects areas well beyond Lincolnshire and also reflects the wider ‘crisis of identity’ affecting British citizenship.
The ‘Our Lincolnshire’ initiative will involve undertaking and analyzing a programme of structured creative public engagement to ensure that that the future form and nature of the collections development strategy for Lincolnshire will be firmly rooted in the interests and aspirations of residents and visitors.
Wreck of the ‘Try’ at Saltfleet. Photo credit: Pete, 2007, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Find out more about different strands of the project, and join in with your contributions:
- Heritage Survey: Tell us your thoughts on heritage in Lincolnshire via our survey – designed for all ages.
- My Lincolnshire Collection: Curate your own collection of 10 objects from a selection of 100 via our web app.
- Cricket in Lincolnshire: Find out more about the history and heritage of cricket in Lincolnshire.
- Performing Heritage in Lincolnshire: New performances have been commissioned to explore your thoughts on Lincolnshire’s heritage – developed from responses to the heritage survey.
- Heritage and society: What does heritage mean to people today? We explore the significance of heritage for our society.
- Lincolnshire’s Place in History: Lincolnshire’s heritage is diverse and distinctive – explore how history is used in Lincolnshire today.
Belton House. Photo credit: Richard Thomas, 2006, CC BY-NC 2.0