Photos of the World’s Most Historic Places

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History Hit, the famous streaming video platform founded by the award-winning British historian Dan Snow, has announced the winners of its 2022 Historic Photographer of the Year competition—and the images are outstanding.

Emblems of the past from around the globe were captured using landscape, urban, and aerial photography in novel ways or from novel perspectives. Five judges, experts in the fields of history and photography, spent three weeks narrowing 1,200 entries from UK residents down to a shortlist of 33 before choosing the three category winners.

Originality, composition, technical proficiency, historical impact, and the story behind the submission were their prime criteria.

Snow said judging the 2022 awards was a personal highlight, reflecting: “It is clear that the stunning entries that make up the shortlist are the product of patience, technical skill, and an awareness of both the past and the present. The creativity and talent on show was next to none.”

Overall Winner:

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Overall winner: “Welsh Wool Mill” by Steve Liddiard. (Courtesy of Steve Liddiard)

Steve Liddiard of Swansea, Wales, has been named the overall winner of the competition for the second year in a row for his photo of a derelict wool mill in the Welsh countryside: a building left empty for over 60 years, the shelves still stacked with colored wool and abandoned machinery parts.

“Nature is slowly taking over leaving a stunning mix of nature and Welsh industrial history, forever intertwined,” Liddiard said, according to History Hit’s overall shortlist.

Competition judge Claudia Kenyatta described Liddiard’s work as “a beautiful example of nature claiming the industrial heritage of the Welsh wool industry” in a press release, while judge Rich Payne of Little Dot Studios, which owns History Hit, admired the contrast between the “artifice of the wool’s colors and its natural material.”

Historic England Winner:

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Historic England category winner: “Glastonbury Tor” by Sam Binding. (Courtesy of Sam Binding)

Another two-time winner, Sam Binding of Bristol, England, earned top place in the Historic England category for the second year in a row with his misty morning image of Glastonbury Tor, a stately structure on an island in the Somerset Levels.

“The low-lying Levels are prone to mist,” Binding explained. “When I arrived, I was in for a very nice surprise. As the sun rose up, a wave of mist swept up and over the top of the Tor, creating an incredibly ethereal scene.”

Snow praised Binding’s photo for its uniqueness. “I’m a believer in getting up and out in the cold and dark to get the perfect shot, and this photographer has done exactly that. There are millions of pictures of the Tor every year but only one like this,” he said.

Fellow judge Fiona Shields described Binding’s submission as “an elegant image, powerful in its simplicity, the light falling so perfectly, framing the historic monument.” Judge Claudia Kenyatta of Historic England believed the photo “captures the legends, stories, and history that surround this ancient hill,” and “helps people understand more about England’s history and the achievements that have been made over the centuries.”

World History Winner:

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World History winner: Luke Stackpoole – Fenghuang Ancient Town, China. (Courtesy of Luke Stackpoole)

Luke Stackpoole from Churt in Surrey, England, took first place in the World History category for his atmospheric photo of Fenghuang Ancient Town in China, a town constructed among mountains in 1704 and part of the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List.

Stackpoole described Fenghuang as an “exceptionally well-preserved ancient town that harbors unique ethnic languages, customs, arts, as well as many distinctive architectural remains of Ming and Qing styles.”

Judge Philip Mowbray claimed the most striking elements of Stackpoole’s photo are the stilts of the riverside homes and their reflections, accentuated by the photographer’s choice to use portrait orientation. “Also, the way the photographer has captured both people and lit-up interiors shows the structures are still part of people’s everyday lives,” Mowbray said.

History Hit has published the overall shortlist, Historic England shortlist, and World History shortlist on its website.

The overall winner takes home a cash prize of 250 pounds (approx. US$305), while category winners receive 50 pounds each (approx. US$61). The Historic England category is also entitled to up to 100 pounds worth of books from the Historic England collection.

Check more photos from the shortlist galleries below:

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World History Shortlist: Chris Bestall – Pentre Ifan. (Courtesy of Chris Bestall)
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Historic England Shortlist: Paul Byers – Dunstanburgh Castle. (Courtesy of Paul Byers)
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Overall shortlist Alan Blackie – Seaton Delaval Hall Mausoleum. (Courtesy of Alan Blackie)
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Overall Shortlist: Lloyd Lane – Sunset at the Royal Pavilion. (Courtesy of Lloyd Lane)
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Overall Shortlist: Sam Binding – Tintern Abbey. (Courtesy of Sam Binding)
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Overall Shortlist: Martin Chamberlain – Orford Ness Pagodas. (Courtesy of Martin Chamberlain)
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Overall Shortlist: Vitalij Bobrovic – Bibury. (Courtesy of Vitalij Bobrovic)
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Historic England Shortlist: Andrew McCaren – Derwent Isle Keswick. (Courtesy of Andrew McCaren)
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Historic England Shortlist: Leslie Brown – Ironbridge. (Courtesy of Leslie Brown)
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Historic England Shortlist: Keith Musselwhite – Corfe castle. (Courtesy of Keith Musselwhite)
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Historic England Shortlist: Gary Cox – Tewkesbury Abbey. (Courtesy of Gary Cox)
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Historic England Shortlist: Andrew Scott – Lincoln. (Courtesy of Andrew Scott)
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World History Shortlist: Danny Shepherd – Loch An Eilein. (Courtesy of Danny Shepherd)
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World History Shortlist: Derek Mccrimmon – Calanais standing stones. (Courtesy of Derek Mccrimmon)
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World History Shortlist: Dominic Ellett – Castle Stalke Appin Argyll Scotland. (Courtesy of Dominic Ellett)
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World History Shortlist: Dominic Reardon – Glenfinnan Viaduct. (Courtesy of Dominic Reardon)
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World History Shortlist: Luke Stackpoole – Monastery, Petra, Jordan. (Courtesy of Luke Stackpoole)
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World History Shortlist: Paul Harris – Calfaria Baptist Chapel, Llanelli. (Courtesy of Paul Harris)
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World History Shortlist: Verginia Hristova – Dunnottar Castle. (Courtesy of Verginia Hristova)

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Louise Chambers


Louise Chambers is a writer, born and raised in London, England. She covers inspiring news and human interest stories.

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