Drawn From History

This project celebrates the work of young volunteers at English Heritage, who perform a variety of roles at sites across the country. We asked them to share with us their favourite stories and experiences which were turned into amazing illustrations by four talented young artists.


In November 2020, we put the call out for English Heritage volunteers aged 18-25 to get involved in the project and ten of them came forward. Meanwhile, some of our Young Producers selected four talented young artists who would work with them to illustrate their stories.

Each volunteer then met with an artist to brief them about what they’d like to see in their illustration and they worked together over a number of weeks to shape the final image.

two young women on a zoom call smiling

Volunteer Megan (left) chats to artist Chanté Timothy (right)

Kezia Hulse

Kezia was one of the artists selected for the project. She studied illustration at Cambridge School of Art where her ideas started to escape the confines of sketchbook pages and grow into 3D concepts and designs.

Alexandra, 21, Volunteer Gardener at Marble Hill

“As someone who had limited knowledge as to horticulture and landscaping I have learnt so much from volunteering at Marble Hill… this gardening role has introduced me to an amazing bunch of volunteers of all ages and backgrounds. They have made the whole experience so enjoyable”.

If you’re interested in joining Alexandra as a volunteer at Marble Hill, you can check out current roles here.

Niamh, 22, Volunteer Gardener at Lincoln Medieval Bishops' Palace

“I’m a volunteer gardener working to preserve the vineyard at Lincoln Medieval Bishops’ Palace, English Heritage’s only official vineyard and one of the most northerly in Britain. My experience of volunteering has been a very positive one: I got to meet people that I never would have met, and I still keep in contact with them”.

Want to join Niamh as a volunteer at Lincoln Medieval Bishops’ Palace? See what roles are open.

Chanté Timothy

Chanté Timothy is a freelance illustrator, who uses a combination of traditional techniques and digital software. We commissioned her to highlight the stories of two fascinating women connected with English Heritages sites.

Anne, 19, Volunteer Explainer at Kenwood House

Volunteer Anne was inspired by a portrait of Dido Belle, who lived at Kenwood.

“Dido’s story is an inspirational one and holds great importance in promulgating an awareness of black portraiture in the history of art. Through Chanté’s modern and exciting image, such an awareness can hopefully inspire a younger audience. The inclusion of the original portrait in the fan is a brilliant addition; Dido visually holds on to the authentic work whilst simultaneously, through this innovative response to the work, asserting its new life in our society today.”

See what volunteer roles are available at Kenwood.

Megan, 19, Volunteer Explainer at Bolsover Castle

Megan wanted to highlight the achievements of Margaret Cavendish, a woman who challenged convention.

“The focus of Bolsover is very much on William Cavendish so I was surprised [I only] learnt of Margaret once I had started volunteering and was given a more in-depth look into the property’s history. She was a remarkable woman..she was very widely published and wrote one of the first ever science fiction novels. She also covered gender equality and philosophy.”

Inspired to join Megan? See volunteer roles at Bolsover here.

Lauren Marsden

Recently graduated from university, Lauren is an up-and-coming artist who uses bright and bold colours to bring her work to life. She worked on three illustrations for the project.

Michael, 24, Volunteer Explainer at Beeston

“My job is to answer questions about the Bronze Age roundhouse reconstruction at Beeston Castle. Being in the roundhouse with a fire lit, seeing the expressions on children’s faces, eager to ask questions, reminds me of why I was interested in history to begin with, and has inspired me to carry on my ambitions of someday working within English Heritage”.

Is there a volunteer role for you at Beeston…? 


Ansley, 23, Volunteer Gardener at Marble Hill

“One of my favourite English Heritage sites is the London Wall, just north of the Tower of London. I am always amazed by how this piece of the wall has survived for so long. I imagine what destruction it would have seen, the death and terror, but also all the beautiful days and love…it is a powerful sign of the strength and perseverance of London.”

Don’t live near any of the sites mentioned so far? Find out about broader volunteer roles here.


Scott, 20, Volunteer Tour Guide at Battle Abbey

Battle Abbey is my favourite site due to its impact on English history as well as the beauty and diversity of the site’s green woodland areas. My experience of volunteering has been nothing but positive: the site’s team of volunteers and staff immediately made me feel welcome and showed me the ropes”.

Want to volunteer at Battle Abbey with Scott? See if there are any open roles here

Laura Buckell

An illustrator and designer, Laura works in a variety of mediums, including illustration, drawing and screen printing. She had three commissions for the project.

Imogen, 18, Volunteer Explainer and Photographer

“During the 1920s the 7th Earl of Beauchamp, William Lygon, resided at Walmer with his wife and children. In the 1930s, he was revealed to be homosexual after having an affair with his valet. He was arrested but his children remained loyal, refusing to testify against him. I think it’s important to highlight these stories…to make history feel more inclusive to those who are currently underrepresented in the history books.”

See if there are any open volunteer roles at Walmer Castle here.

Sam, 20, Volunteer Room Guide at Wrest Park

“I really enjoy volunteering at Wrest Park because it is like no other opportunity around.. it has made me passionate about changing the stereotypes surrounding the heritage sector and English Heritage properties, and I feel that mine (and other young people’s) presence within the organisation helps reinforce that heritage isn’t just for older people – it’s for everyone!”

Join Sam and volunteer at Wrest Park.


Polly, 21, Volunteer Explainer at Beeston

“I have found it incredibly valuable to engage with volunteers at different stages of life and have formed friendships with people who I would never have otherwise encountered. They have introduced me to a diverse range of their passions from willow-working to geology. I can genuinely say that volunteering at Beeston will be a memory I treasure forever.

Find out if there are any Volunteer roles open at Beeston Castle and Woodland Park.