What is Hidden Heritage?

Hidden Heritage can be many things to many people here are a couple of ideas from the team. If you would like to add to the debate feel free to get in contact and we will add your thoughts to this page. 

Here’s a interesting article on the problems of locals dumping rubbish in and around historic monuments Should we condemn locals for this kind of behaviour or does this prove that we are not getting the message out to the general public about the benefits of protecting our heritage?


Dorset dialect is an area of hidden heritage which has been overlooked for decades, below is a brief example of the dialect was written prior to the days of William Barnes.

Lady-bird ! lady-bird ! pretty one ! stay! Come sit on my finger, so happy and gay; With me shall no mischle betlde thee; No harm would I do thee, no foeman is near, I onl would gaze on thy beauties so dea.r, Those beautiful winglets beside thee. Lady-bird! lady-bird! fly away home; Thy house is a-fire, thy children will roam! List ! list! to their cry and bewailing! The pitiless spider is weaving their doom, Then, lady-bird! lady-bird! fl away home! Hark! hark! to thy child!-en’s bewailing. Fly back again, back again, lad -bird dear! Thy neighbours will merrily welizome thee here; With them shall no perils attend thee! They’ll guard thee so safelly from danger or care, They’ll aze on thy beaut’ ul win lets so fair, And comfort, and love, and fiefriend thee !


Although archaeology has gained a far greater prominence in recent years with TV programmes such as Time Team, we would argue that archaeology is still hidden from the vast majority of the general public. Why is this? Perhaps because this area of study is perceived to be highbrow, some would argue its pointless there is even suggestions that its not immersive enough.

Samantha Hyde Says:

Well i live in Gloucester, i think the problem isn’t just lack of awareness..its more about relevance…most people simply don’t understand why they should care about heritage. my mate peter was working for several months on the old college site, but a lot of people had no idea the dig was going on..or the relevance of what was found..add in a city council that is quite frankly anti-heritage.. need i go further? we did have a community based project that my mate Anna ran for a couple of years, which had some success but that came to an end (lottery grant that one)  Upshot is i think we need to focus on engagement and information. that’s my tuppence

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3 thoughts on “What is Hidden Heritage?”

  1. Thanks for sharing these thoughts on “Hidden Heritage”. As much as I like the poetry in the wording (HH), your explanation of the concept makes me to disagree with the notion of “Hidden Heritage”. What you do not know (secret’ no information, etc) cannot be owned. A heritage is what is available from the past (what has value, meaning, significance, and message) for the present for responsible and sustainable usage for future transmission. The work of archaeology and other material cultural research is to unearth what is not known to be made available for ownership, that is to make herirtage accessible. The notion of Hidden Heritage as explained by you does not sit well with you. As I have always argued, Heritage is what has gone through the filter of time and acceptability and use. Whether it is a tangible or an intangible entity, when it is hidden, that entity that is hidden, has not gone through the filter for it to be accorded a status of Heritage. I await your response to my thoughts on the matter of Hidden Heritage. Prof Wellington,, scholar of Architecture and Cultural Heritage.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your comments, my personal view is that HH is anything heritage related which is overlooked, ignored or phased out. EG: local customs, building practises, etc etc etc
      Your point about what is heritage will depend on what value your place on said item, custom etc after all who am I to say what is heritage? The work of archaeology is partly to make material publicly accessible but also to educate both public and the profession.
      I uncovered a brooch at the University dig this week which was dated 300BC prior to its discovery it was assumed that the phase in question was Iron Age. Surely this brooch is part of our heritage and was hidden and now has added to the knowledge base that we have.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I think that a lot of heritage remains hidden because people don’t appreciate their built/human environment as heritage. A lot of this comes from familiarity, I suspect. The shopper may not appreciate that the building where they buy their bread is an 18th century house, that the road the travel to work was mentioned in a 10th century document, that a familiar hedgerow follows the line of a Romano-British boundary… I’ve found that once you can point these things out to people and they are aware of them, the begin to see heritage everywhere.

    Liked by 1 person

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Heritage Matters both now and in the future !

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