We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Otherwise, we'll assume you're OK to continue.

Durham University

Department of Geography

Departmental Research Projects

Publication details

Crang, M. On the heritage trail: maps of and journeys to olde Englande. Environment & Planning D: Society and Space. 1994;12:341-355.

Author(s) from Durham


This paper contains analyses of some theoretical ways of comprehending heritage phenomena. It is suggested that commentators on such phenomena have analysed an intended object based on a particular experience of heritage events. Rather, the author stresses that there are multiple ways of experiencing heritage. Throughout it is suggested that it is performance that creates heritage. Travel is used as a metaphor for this process as it stresses the issue of creative spatiotemporal practices. However, the organisation of heritage is reliant on the assumption that heritage is ontologically prior to its performance. The tension between these two perspectives is mobilised through the metaphors of Map and Journey. The reactionary tendency to reify heritage is seen less as a result of misleading versions of history than as a result of their organisation. This organisation freezes a certain experience of heritage into a virtual object. This object is like a map that is used to attempt to project its own selective order back onto heritage experiences. The author uses anecdotes, examples from the literature, and his own research to illustrate these points.

Department of Geography