Icons of England
  • Introduction
  • The Icons
  • Nominations
  • News
  • Learn & Play
  • Your Comments

ICONS ethos

Some people argue there is no such thing as a shared English culture. They say all those invasions by the Normans and Romans simply left us with a ‘hotch potch’ of other people’s cultures. Paradoxically, this melting pot is what makes England unique. And today’s multicultural communities make this mix even more vibrant and interesting.

ICONS is a rich resource of material about our lives and cultural heritage. Teachers use it to stimulate classroom learning. Inspiring content continually sparks visits to arts venues and events. It whets the appetites of tourists and provides valuable reference material for students. The content for the site is created by the ICONS team and our partner organisations, but we always value contributions from you.

We hope this site intrigues individuals and organisations and inspires them to get involved. We want to continue spreading our net as widely as possible, to interest people who might not normally go to museums or art galleries. Triggering a response from people who do not usually use the web is also a priority. Our life-long learning partners are useful allies here.

ICONS is the first project by ICONS Online, a not-for-profit organisation whose aim is to develop projects that provide stimulating interactive ways of exploring different cultural landscapes. Find out about ICONS Online.

How are Icons chosen?

Why fish and chips but not a kebab? Why Alice's Adventures In Wonderland? What about Peter Rabbit or Harry Potter and James Bond? If we include the double-decker bus, shouldn’t we include the black cab too?

Debating which things are truly icons of England is all part of the process of creating our portrait. Not everyone agrees, of course. Some suggestions are controversial. The idea is for a broad range of people to express their views and reach some kind of agreement about which icons should be included.

An advisory board exists to help us sift through nominations and decide which will be featured on the site. This group, drawn from a wide range of backgrounds and experience, will consider all your comments and suggestions – as well as the results of the public vote.

Which icons do you want included? Tell us here.



Explore our first 33 icons – a collection ranging from the mini skirt to Blackpool Tower and Brick Lane.