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Vision & Mission

What are the aims of the Trust?

Our Vision

A rich appreciation of our nation’s urban communities, fostered through an understanding of the historical development of our towns and cities.

Our Mission

To produce high-quality historical maps and atlases of Britain’s towns and cities, and help people to understand the richness of our urban heritage.


Mapping our Past, Shaping our Future

The Historic Towns Trust has ambitious plans to produce atlases of a large number of towns and cities across Great Britain, and to address the relative lack of towns in Wales and Scotland covered to date. A long-list of possible towns and cities has been drawn up, including Welsh and Scottish towns and industrial cities in the north of England. We are now looking at which of those may be suitable for further research and which may lend themselves to an atlas project.

For an atlas to be produced, a local team has to be assembled and money raised to pay for its production. Each project that we embark on has to be accompanied by a substantial fundraising campaign; running such a campaign takes time and patience.

The Trust is also set to embark on a substantial fundraising campaign to increase its core capital, and to fund the administration and project management that accompanies its work.

In our report entitled The Case for Support, we discuss what plans we have for the future and what resources are needed to achieve them. The full report is available here to download:

The Case for Support - the Historic Towns Trust
Download PDF • 1.15MB


Developing the Trust - our ambitions

The Historic Towns Trust plans to fulfill its role as a national charity by sharply accelerating the rate at which we publish, thereby reaching new audiences.

Building on the local partnerships that have already delivered such high-quality products, we aim to:

  • Provide at least one volume of the British Historic Towns Atlas for every historic county or regional authority in Britain by 2050.

  • Reach out to more people, to young people especially, engage more with urban communities, engage directly with new audiences, and explore the scope for new partnership.

  • Create a much-expanded programme of education and outreach that will bring together the knowledge we have about Britain’s urban past to help communities to shape their cities and towns for the future.


The format of future atlas volumes

The Historic Towns Trustees have also been considering the format of future atlas volumes and looking at the digital future of the Trust. As a result, we have produced the following reports.

'Mapping a New Way Forward'

A strategy for publications and future research projects

A group was set up to consider the way in which we run atlas projects and to look at the format of future British Historic Towns Atlas volumes.

It recommended a more streamlined approach to project management, and a new format for future volumes in order to reduce the cost of production and to enable a lower selling price for each volume. View the full report below:

HTT-Mapping the way forward - the future of the BHTA
Download PDF • 2.27MB

'Digital Futures for the Historic Towns Trust'

Our use of digital data and our strategy for digital publication

A further group of trustees looked at the way that the HTT uses digital data, the way that it could be better used, and the future for the digital publishing of HTT material. It also looked at developing the website and made some important recommendations about our digital strategy. These reports is also available to download below.

HTT-Digital futures report annexes
Download PDF • 234KB

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