The Britain from Above Legacy

Britain from Above was a four year project aimed at conserving 95,000 of the oldest and most valuable photographs in the Aerofilms collection, those dating from 1919 to 1953. Once conserved, the images were scanned into digital format and made available on this website for the public to see. This project was made possible due to a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund and support from The Foyle Foundation and other donors. There are now over 95,000 images on the website. The website provides the opportunity to share and record your memories and knowledge about the places shown in the collection.

One of the aims of the project was to ensure that as wide a range of people as possible could learn about Aerofilms and to engage with the images. This was done by working with groups in local communities, using the images of their local area as inspiration for a number of projects. The images inspired artworks, performances, exhibitions, show gardens and much more. Take a look at the legacy left by the project in the highlights below.

The History of Aerofilms

Memories of Aerofilms Ltd who took so much of the imagery displayed on the website.


How Digitisation Happens

The East Oxford from Above project volunteers captures the behind the scenes work of the Britain from Above project team.


The Big Draw

The Big Draw is an international festival aiming to encourage people of all ages & abilities to draw. This group is dedicated to the Britain from Above Big Draw celebrations.


Knit for Britain

Yarnstormers uploaded pictures of the squadron of knitted planes produced all over the country!


Britain From Above Book

A selection of the best pictures as chosen by the users of the website. The choices fed into the publication "Aerofilms: A history of Britain from Above"


Govan Reminiscences

A series of audio recordings of memories of work, friendships, growing up, family, romance and work triggered by images in the collection.

Flora recalls family memories of Govan centered around the shipyards, James remembers the dangerous and daring games he played in Govan as a boy and the infamous Wine Alley is remembered, but was it a victim of unfair prejudice?


Studio 3 - Birds Eye View

Studio 3 is one of the projects for adults run by Artlink West Yorkshire, an arts in the community organisation based in Leeds.

We ran a 12 week project called "Bird's Eye View" in response to some of the images we have found from the amazing collection on the Britain From Above website.

We have been producing lots of artwork inspired by these aerial photos, particularly with different macro & micro perspectives on things, textures, marks, lines, patterns and layers.


Architecture Design Animation

Primary and secondary school children created animated stories based on their research into the Aerofilms images. Each image is listed and a link to the record showing the animations created by the children.


Trimsaran Community Project

A group to showcase all the work done by the people of Trimsaran to produce a 3D model of their village for the National Eisteddfod.


Brandon and Hamsteels Local History Group

A project group in the Deerness Valley. Images, memories, audio and video items collated from residents about the area and mining communities captured in images from the collection.


Borders - Cumbria and Dumfries & Galloway Group

This project had a geographic focus on the Solway Firth, aiming to link rural communities on the coast in Cumbria and Dumfries & Galloway.

Local groups from rural communities in Bowness on Solway, Cockermouth, Annan and Kirkcudbright uncovering their stories about place.


Pelton Fell Group

Video and audio memories from a local history group near Chester-Le-Street.


Bensham Group

A partnership project with blind and partially sighted users of Sight Service Gateshead.


Parkfield Group

A school group carrying out a history project about Torbay beaches.