Bird’s eye view of a time gone by

Overhead of St Mary's, Thame
Overhead of St Mary's, Thame
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This stunning image taken from the skies above Thame in 1927 is one of more than 15,000 pictures now available to the public online for the first time.

The black and white photo shows the town centre of Thame from the south side, with St Mary’s Church visible in the distance.

It is part of a collection on newly launched website Britain from Above.

Another image of Thame shows St Mary’s from closer range (see page three).

Not much has changed in the town in the 85 years since it was snapped from above, apart from the development of more housing.

The Britain from Above site has been launched by English Heritage and the Royal Commissions on the ancient and historical monuments of Scotland and Wales.

It features some of the oldest and most valuable images of the Aerofilms collection, a unique archive of more than one million aerial photographs taken between 1919 and 2006.

The photographs featuring on the website date from 1919 to 1953, and have gone through a painstaking process of conservation and cataloguing.

Anna Eavis, head of archive at English Heritage, said: “The Aerofilms collection embodies all that is exciting about aerial photography.

“What is equally remarkable is the skill of the expert staff in England, Scotland and Wales who have saved and conserved these vulnerable negatives and prints and converted them into the high resolution images you see on screen today.”

Among the photos are shots of Oxford, Henley and historic moments.

Anyone wishing to view the images should go to www.britainfromabove.org.uk