Contributed by Ron Redgewell
From Stonehenge to the mills of the Industrial Revolution, and from Norman castles to the site of the first TV transmission: in each generation, a small number of exceptional places mark and celebrate human architectural achievement, define an era, mark an important struggle or push new ideas to the limit. It is appropriate and necessary to make careful decisions about the future of these places and their protection.
Identifying heritage through designation:
Listed Buildings Conservation Areas The Schedule of Monuments The Register of Parks and Gardens The Register of Historic Battlefields Protected Sea Wreck Sites World Heritage Sites
Listing helps us acknowledge and understand our shared history. It marks and celebrates a building’s special architectural and historic interest, and also brings it under the consideration of the planning system so that some thought will be taken about its future. The listings of buildings are designated under Grades:
- Grade I buildings are of exceptional interest, sometimes considered to be internationally important. Just 2.5% of listed buildings are Grade I.
- Grade II* buildings are particularly important buildings of more than special interest. 5.5% of listed buildings are Grade II*.
- Grade II buildings are nationally important and of special interest. 92% of all listed buildings are in this class and it is the most likely grade of listing for a home owner.
There are about 380 protected examples of Heritage in the Borough, though being a landlocked area, no sea wreck sites nor have we a World Heritage Site, yet!
- 3 Grade I, (0.8%) two Churches and a Hall
- 23 Grade II* (6.0%) of which eleven are Churches, the remainder are mostly Halls, Manor or Farm houses
Examples across the Borough
Listed below is a selection illustrating the wide variety that is currently protected in addition to the couple of hundred buildings.
Twenty-six churches/chapels; four inns/pubs; a pigeon house, two each of dovecotes, pigsties, and stables; three castles, a barracks, war memorial and numerous memorials to celebrities of yore; two garden seats and sundials; a blast furnace; numerous canal bridges, locks, and the Harcastle Tunnels’ portals; five schools; twenty-six mileposts; two beloved K6 red telephone kiosks; the first veterinary surgery in England (at least); the Town Centre icons of the Queen Victoria statue, Market Cross and The Guildhall, together with the most recent construction the Lancaster Buildings that are currently undergoing a major refurbishment.