An historic archive of 800,000 aerial photos of Britain has been bought for the nation, paving the way for the images to be enjoyed by the public.

Housing many ?fragile prints and negatives? the Aerofilms Historic Collection was bought for an undisclosed amount by English Heritage and its partners in Wales and Scotland.

The pictures document changing Britain from 1919 until recent years.

One of the pictures, for example, shows St Paul?s Cathedral in 1950, ?still clearly showing the effects of wartime bombing’, said an English Heritage spokesman.

Picture credit: English Heritage NMR