Monday, 22 February 2010

An historical question

Having visited Kenilworth today and over the last few years a large number of other ruined castles an interesting question is posed regarding one of the most device men in British History.

Did Oliver Cromwell effectively create English Heritage?

A large number of castles around the country were destroyed, or slighted, on the orders of Cromwell following the Civil War so that they couldn’t be used again to hold out against “the will of parliament”.

Over time these have become picturesque ruins which have then become tourist attractions and today have spawned the heritage industry.

So rather than the curmudgeonly, Irish massacring, Christmas hating, puritanical dictator that history has left us with, perhaps we should remember him as the founding father of today’s Heritage Industry.

This does of course mean he is also responsible for “living history”, inane audio guides and battle re-enactments.

Digging up his corpse was too good for him (to paraphrase the Daily Mail)

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