Tardis on snow covered pavement next to pelican crossing with pedestrian walking away over the crossing, pausing as a red double-decker bus passes. On left in foreground is the front right wheel an arch of a white car.
Dr Who Tardis in North London. © Goddard on the Go / Alamy Stock Photo.
Dr Who Tardis in North London. © Goddard on the Go / Alamy Stock Photo.

Historic Places That Have Made Doctor Who

The Doctor is over 900 years old, but it is 60 years since they first appeared on our TV screens, along with some of Britain's most iconic heritage buildings and places.

Historic England, Historic Environment Scotland, and Cadw are marking the anniversary of the first broadcast by launching a new interactive map. The map celebrates the many regenerations of Doctors, decades of Daleks, and (of course) some of the historic buildings and places that are key in bringing the show to life.

View the map

Like many others across the country, Doctor Who was very much part of my childhood - everyone has 'their' Doctor that they recall fondly. 60 years on from its launch, I am sure that Doctor Who is still having the same effect on generations of fans, young and old. It's wonderful to see how TV and heritage connect, and celebrations like this highlight the historic links between this exhilarating BBC show and the fantastic heritage available to explore across England.
Duncan Wilson, Chief Executive Historic England

Did you know?

As well as playing a key role in time travel, Doctor Who's Tardis (an acronym for 'Time And Relative Dimension In Space') also helps to showcase an important part of the UK's architectural heritage.

Its designer, Gilbert Mackenzie Trench, was Surveyor and Architect to the Metropolitan Police from 1920 to 1945, with responsibility for many buildings and places that play an important part in our historic streetscapes.

Find more listed buildings designed by Gilbert Mackenzie Trench

Whovian places of interest on the map

Norris Castle, Isle of Wight

In this episode, 'The Sea Devils', the 3rd Doctor is pitted against the Master, another recurring character of the Doctor Who canon. This is also the first episode to introduce the aquatic version of the Silurian’s, a reptilian lifeform that inhabited the Earth before the rise of man.

The Master is kept prisoner in Norris Castle, not far from Osborne House – the former home of Queen Victoria on the Isle of Wight. Norris Castle is a rare Regency estate designed by one of England’s most notable architects, James Wyatt.

Wells Cathedral, Somerset

In a tale of science run amuck, the Doctor meets Dr Lazarus, who is experimenting with defying the aging process. The episode culminates in a battle, which was shot inside Wells Cathedral in Somerset.

Wells Cathedral began construction around 1175 and was the first English Cathedral to be built in the French Gothic style. The scissor arches (shown left) were built around 1338 and were designed to solve the problem of cracks appearing in the tower.

Buchanan Street Police Box, Glasgow

The Doctor's space-time machine (the Tardis) is modelled on the Police Call Box, designed by Scottish architect Gilbert Mackenzie Trench, who was Architect Surveyor to the Metropolitan Police between 1920-1945. It's since become a pop culture icon thanks to the success of Doctor Who and examples can still be found in Glasgow. 

Nant Ffrancon, Ogwen Valley

Mae tirwedd hanesyddol gofrestredig Dyffryn Ogwen yn cynnwys nodweddion archaeolegol rhagorol o sawl gwahanol gyfnod, ond mae’n fwyaf enwog am ei chwareli llechi. Yn y stori chwe rhan ‘The Abominable Snowmen’, dyma’r ardal a oedd yn cynrychioli Tibet ym 1935. Darlledwyd y gyfres yn wreiddiol ym 1967, dim ond un o’r chwe phennod sydd ar ôl yn archifau’r BBC. Rhyddhawyd fersiwn wedi’i hanimeiddio yn 2022.

The Ogwen Valley registered Historic Landscape has outstanding archaeology from many different periods but is most famous for its slate quarries. In the 6-part storyline “The Abominable Snowmen” it doubled for 1935 Tibet. Originally aired in 1967, only one of the six episodes remains in the BBC archives. An animated version was released in 2022.

Does anyone know where I left the Tardis?
Doctor Who, Time Lord The Universe, just east of Hull

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