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Before the days of English Heritage, Cadw and the like, many scheduled ancient monuments across the UK came under the remit and protection of ‘the man from the ministry’ – the Ministry of Works.

In an early version of today’s ubiquitous information boards, signs were erected at many sites, giving often very brief information, but warning that the site was under protection, and that any damage would be punishable by law. These signs were often made of long-lasting cast iron, and many can still be seen today around the country.

A Ministry of Works sign at the Rollright Stones, in Oxfordshire, vandalised in 2007.

A Ministry of Works sign at the Rollright Stones, in Oxfordshire, vandalised in 2007, and now removed.

In a celebration of these old signs, Sue Greaney, an English Heritage Historian, has recently launched a new Facebook Group, the “Ministry of Works Signage Appreciation Society“,  with a view to collecting as many photos of the surviving signs, and their latter day replacements as possible.

The group is open for anyone to join and contribute photos or reminicenses. We would encourage all those interested in the history of our ancient scheduled monuments to join in.

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