A History of English Places: VCH smartphone app

VCH data is ideally suited to new forms of digital technology, including our smartphone app: A History of English Places.

Navigate more than 13,000 English places by historical maps, linking to VCH content.

About the VCH app

VCH app

A History of English Places is a map-based smartphone app for discovering the rich history of places in England. Information is drawn from the Topographical Dictionary of England (compiled by Samuel Lewis, 1848) and the place-by-place histories of the Victoria County History (VCH), published between 1901 and the present day.

The app, designed by Aimer Media Ltd and the VCH, provides information on 13,713 English places. Each place is recorded with an account in Lewis's mid-19th century guide, while more than 3300 records also link to detailed surveys in the Victoria County History. 

The app is navigated by a map interface or a search option and also tracks your location to present the 10 nearest entries, making it an excellent historical guide when travelling. 

For more, see our short video on using A History of English Place, available via Twitter.

Accessing the app


A History of English Places is available for iPhone and iPad, via the iTunes app store and for Android via the Play Store.

The free version allows navigation of the historical first-ever edition of the Ordnance Survey map and use the location pins to explore the 13,713 short nineteenth-century descriptions of England’s villages, towns and cities.

A monthly or annual subscription is available that enables access to detailed entries on taken from 175 volumes of histories produced by the Victoria County History project and published in the IHR's British History Online. This allows users to explore the rich, detailed histories produced by the VCH in their geographical context, and discover the past of places around you when you’re out and about.

Tell us how you're using the app


We'd love to know how you're using A History of English Places. Share your experiences on Twitter using the hashtag #MyHOEP and tagging @VCH_London.

Thank you! And also to Professor Steve Poole (UWE) for the photo and his story via Twitter.