News across the Commonwealth
If you are interested in our news items and wish to be kept informed about heritage issues and projects across the Commonwealth, then please join us and receive our regular newsletters.
Heralding a New Future Through the Past
The use of heritage lodging as a means of sustainable tourism using the example of the Serena Shigar Fort located in the Northern Areas of Pakistan.Read more
The Red House, Port of Spain, Trinidad
Francis Maude, Director at Donald Insall Associates in London, reveals the remarkable architectural evolution and rejuvenation of The Red House in Trinidad…Read more
Recording the World Before Photography
All interested in the work of the Commonwealth Heritage Forum should be aware of the existence of The Watercolour World (TWW) project.Read more
Windows on the Past
The accomplished photographer, Anirban Mitra, shares some of his evocative photographs of the former government houses and palaces of Bengal.Read more
Commonwealth Heritage at Risk project (CHAR)
By Philip Davies - Our Chairman explains the progress we are making on our exciting new initiative to identify Heritage at Risk in Commonwealth countries...Read more
Alipore and Presidency Jails, Kolkata
Conservation Architect Nilina Deb Lal talks about the Grade I listed Alipore and Presidency Jails in Kolkata in India, the risks and opportunities associated with their impending change of use, and the delicate balance between heritage significance and land value...Read more
Francis Maude, Director at Donald Insall Associates in London, describes the late 19th century City Hall in Georgetown, Guyana, and its connections with civic architecture in Britain. This conservation project also provides a good example of the benefits of collaborative partnerships, training workshops and formal sponsorship.Read more
The Caciques of Spaniard Hill: An Archaeological Interpretation
A fascinating article describing the outcome of recent archaeological excavations of a site in Jamaica occupied by successive generations of the Tainos.Read more
Ghana: A State of Heritage Report
The Ghana Museums and Monuments Board (GMMB) is one of the sovereign institutions established when the Gold Coast colony became independent of British rule in 1957. Its mandate of preservation of the material cultural heritage...Read more
Old buildings do not belong to us… We are only trustees for those who come after us.
We welcome supporters and membership from the UK Overseas territories, which share a common heritage with Commonwealth countries. Following the completion of the Grytviken Conservation Management Plan by Purcell Architects in 2018, the Government of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands has been implementing several of the recommendations.Read more
Heritage at Risk Bermuda Dockyard
Ann Coats, Chair of the Naval Dockyards Society, reveals an eleventh-hour attempt to save the last workers' housing in Bermuda Dockyard from demolition...Read more
The British Association for Cemeteries in South Asia Manual
The British Association for Cemeteries in South Asia (BACSA), founded in 1977, was the first organisation to address the built heritage of the British Empire in the East.Read more
The Commonwealth Walkway Trust
Writer and Broadcaster, Hugo Vickers describes the founding of the Commonwealth Walkway Trust, and explains its ambitions and ways in which the public can get involved…Read more
Heritage at Risk
James Bramble, Executive Director of the British Napoleonic Bicentenary Trust, reveals some of the threats to the built heritage of the British Overseas Territory of Saint Helena, one of the remotest places on earth, with several examples – including Banks Battery and Jacob’s Ladder, both of which date to the early 18th century and are remarkable as feats of structural engineering, as well as historically significant sites...Read more
Caribbean Heritage Network
The recently established Caribbean Heritage Network, which the Commonwealth Heritage Forum has joined as an organisational member, hopes to develop a framework to promote the management of historic sites in the region, and promote cultural heritage, CHF Trustee, Peregrine Bryant, writes…Read more
Encouraging news from Kolkata. Three landmark historic buildings have been restored for public exhibitions. Metcalfe Hall, opened in 1844, has been repaired in traditional lime plaster by the Archaeological Survey of India. Belvedere House has emerged from a five-year restoration programme with an exhibition celebrating Icons of Indian Nationalism. In the heart of the city, the old Currency Building has been refurbished for a jute and silk exhibition and fashion show.
Revisiting Chronicles of Delhi’s past: unearthing the city’s Art Deco style
Recollecting chapters of Delhi’s architectural evolution in the twentieth century, one undoubtedly recalls the events that took place in 1911 and 1947.Read more
Having secured statutory protection for over I200 historic buildings in the city, the Heritage Foundation of Pakistan (HFP) has organised a major initiative in Karachi. Under expert supervision, local community volunteers have been mobilised to clean the facades of the city’s fine historic buildings. Starting with the Victorian Gothic Denso Hall (above), built in 1886, it is the first step in creating a pedestrian precinct and the wider environmental improvement of the city’s Old Town. Together with Think City, Malaysia and INTBAU, in November 2019 HFP held an inspirational exhibition and conference which highlighted opportunities for conservation-led urban regeneration in both countries.
They looked for a prison, and behold a Palace
The first recorded watercolour in Australia was made by surgeon Arthur Bowes Smyth on 11th February 1788.Read more
The British Empire And Commonwealth Collection at Bristol Archives
Nicky Sugar, Archivist, summarises the remarkably rich collections held at Bristol Archives which reveal perspectives on the Commonwealth in unexpected detail…Read more
MAXWELL FRY (1899-1987) AND JANE DREW (1911-96)
The Commonwealth Heritage Forum is interested in all aspects of the built heritage of the Commonwealth. In the late 1940s and 50s there was a resurgence of interest in ‘tropical architecture’ by some of the leading modernist architects of the day. Jessica Holland highlights the work of Maxwell Fry and Jane Drew, who left a fascinating heritage of important buildings in West Africa and India...Read more
The writer, historian and filmmaker, Bobby Singh Bansal describes some of the work he has carried out on Sikh heritage in the remote regions of Pakistan, and the restoration of several sites, such as the dilapidated Anglo-Sikh war memorial at Ramnagar, not far from the battlefield at Gujranwala...Read more
In Port of Spain, Stollmeyer’s Castle has been restored by the Office of the Prime Minister for official functions. The elaborate Scottish baronial landmark is the embodiment of shared heritage with timber from Guyana and Canada, cast iron, stock bricks and ceramic floor tiles from England, slates from Wales and decorative stained glass. At the nearby Red House, a major restoration project is underway for the Senate and Parliament Chambers.Read more
Historic ruins can be adapted for new uses. Spanish Town High School sits on the Parade Ground of the Old Barracks built in 1791. Intact and roofed until the 1970s, now only the surrounding walls still stand. The School lacks sufficient space to accommodate all its pupils at the same time. The Board of Governors is determined to restore and reroof the Barracks for school use. A volunteer team from the UK and US visited in February to carry out a laser scan survey of the building and discuss ways of achieving this with Jamaican colleagues.
A nation’s culture resides in the hearts and in the soul of its people.