Tower Bridge, II. (open), London, England. Library of Congress /

By Mark McConville

THE STUNNING beauty of nineteenth century England has been revealed in a series of colour postcards that show the sights our ancestors would have enjoyed while on holiday.

From North Pier, Blackpool, England. Library of Congress /

The spectacular images show that while somethings may have changed others have remained the same. Nelson’s Column in Trafalgar Square, Tower Bridge and the Houses of Parliament all still stand in London, looking almost identical to their postcard equivalents.

Houses of Parliament from the river, London, England. Library of Congress /

Other pictures highlight the great changed that has occurred in the ensuing century, since the photos were taken.

The pier in Weston-Super-Mare is pictured before work began to turn it into the Grand Pier, which steadily grew into an amusement attraction for the masses. The pier survived a 1930 fire which destroyed the theatre at its end, but couldn’t withstand a second damaging blaze in 2008.


The pier, Weston-super-Mare, England. Library of Congress /

Photochrom is a method of producing colourised photographs from black and white negatives via the direct photographic transfer of a negative onto lithographic printing plates.

It was invented in the 1880s and was most popular in the 1890s, when these images were taken. Although true colour photography had been developed by then it was not commercially practical yet.


St. Paul’s Cathedral, West Front, London, England. Library of Congress /

Photochrom reproductions became popular due to the craze with sending postcards.

The iconic White Cliffs of Dover look much the same despite the 127-year gap between the postcard and today.


The Cliffs, Dover, England. Library of Congress /

Other well-known landmarks in England are also pictured including Blackpool Tower, Westminster Abbey and Durham Cathedral.