Sculpture set within steps up to modern building in the background
The kinetic water sculpture, the Piazza 'Bucket' Fountain, Beetham Plazza, Drury Lane, Liverpool © Historic England DP234403 Grade II listed
The kinetic water sculpture, the Piazza 'Bucket' Fountain, Beetham Plazza, Drury Lane, Liverpool © Historic England DP234403 Grade II listed

21 Fascinating Places Listed in 2019

Over 500 historic places have been added to the National Heritage List for England in 2019. As the year draws to a close, we've picked 21 highlights that have gained protection or been upgraded.

From a Tudor playhouse and First World War training trenches to shipwrecks and a Monty Python set, England is home to many historic, iconic, and sometimes quirky sites. Protecting our heritage is of huge importance so future generations can better understand all the things that have made this nation great. I'm delighted that such a diverse range of important and interesting places were protected by Historic England in 2019.
Helen Whately, Heritage Minister
A fascinating range of historic buildings and sites are added to the List each year, and 2019 is no exception. A kinetic water sculpture, a 19th century nursemaids’ tunnel and an Elizabethan playhouse are among the quirkier places to receive protection this year. By celebrating the extraordinary historic places which surround us, above and below ground, we hope to inspire in people a greater interest in our shared heritage, and a commitment to pass it on.
Duncan Wilson, Chief Executive of Historic England

New listings in 2019

Listing - 513
Scheduled Monuments - 37
Parks and Gardens - 2
Protected Wrecks - 1 (see note)
TOTAL: 553

The Curtain Playhouse, Shoreditch, London

Scheduled | 1463328

The Curtain was an Elizabethan playhouse, built around 1577, where Shakespeare’s 'Romeo and Juliet' was staged during the playwright’s lifetime, as well as Ben Jonson's 'Every Man in His Humour' - in which Shakespeare himself is listed as a performer. Substantial archaeological remains of the Curtain were discovered during excavations from 2011-16, becoming some of the earliest physical evidence for playhouses in London at this time.

Parts of the stage, the wings, galleries and yards were found along with 17th century structures showing the later use of the site as tenement housing. An Elizabethan ‘bird whistle’, perhaps used for sound effects during productions, and a floor made from cattle knuckle bones were among the objects and features unearthed. The historic remains are being preserved in situ and will be visible as part of a new exhibition and performance space in The Stage development.

Former Chemist Shop, High Street, Lowestoft, Suffolk

Listed Grade II | 1462138

Purpose built for ‘Chemist and Druggist’ Robert Morris in 1851, and still in use as a pharmacy until 2012, this mid-Victorian former chemist shop is a rare survival. Its original and largely unaltered Italianate shopfront, with its arched windows and decorative mouldings, was very fashionable at the time, yet few remain intact today.

Lettering in the window says the ‘Family dispensing chemist’ business was established in 1817, even earlier than the current building. It is one of many buildings in Lowestoft that stand testament to the town’s Victorian prosperity. Inside, mirror backed shelving and cupboards held goods under gilt labels for ‘poisons’ and ‘surgical appliances’ while wooden drawers with glass handles stored dried and powdered chemicals – a feature known as a ‘drug run’. The interior fixtures and fittings have been adapted and replaced over the years, reflecting the evolution of the shop, so what we see today is a combination of Victorian and mid-20th century design.

Vertical Spinning Tunnel, Former High Speed Laboratory Complex, Twinwoods Business Park, Milton Ernest, Bedfordshire

Listed Grade II | 1457464

The vertical spinning tunnel, built between 1948 and 1955, was a specialised facility to investigate aerodynamics and flight systems. It is a well-preserved example of a very rare building type. It worked by blowing air upwards against the gravitational force on a free-falling aircraft model, allowing the study of the ways in which an aircraft could enter a spin and how to recover from it.

It was the only steel pressurised vertical spinning tunnel ever made, and its construction pioneered the technique of welding on site pre-formed metal plates for the assembly of large pressure vessels. It was part of the largest post-war development by the Royal Aircraft Establishment – a British research unit that eventually came under the Ministry of Defence – and was one of the most advanced aviation research facilities in Europe.

Piazza Fountain, Beetham Plaza, Liverpool

Listed Grade II | 1463126

Liverpool’s Piazza Fountain, known locally as the Bucket Fountain, is a kinetic water sculpture. It was made in the late 1960s by renowned Welsh fountain designer Richard Huws and is the only surviving example of his water sculptures. The design is based on a prototype which Huws designed for the Festival of Britain in 1951 – a national celebration to unite the country after the Second World War.

The fountain includes 20 hoppers, or buckets, of various sizes set at different heights which tip unexpectedly when filled. The sounds created by the falling water are intended to sound like a stormy sea to symbolise Liverpool’s importance as an international port city. The fountain was built by local ship builders Cammell Laird, where Huws had previously been an apprentice and won a scholarship to study naval architecture at Liverpool University.

Second World War Practice Bombing Range Indicator and Observation Post, Putsborough Sands, North Devon

Listed Grade II | 1465902

The north Devon coast was one of the major training centres for allied troops in the run up to D-Day on 6 June 1944. Due to the increased threat of an attack on the British coastline, the Royal Air Force (RAF) was also trained here. Structures related to this are a bombing range target indicator and associated observation post at Putsborough Sands. They are considered to be the only two survivors of their kind in Devon.

The indicator – a ground-level concrete arrow - and observation post were constructed in around 1942 according to Armament Training Manual specifications and for use by RAF high-altitude bombing crews. The observation post is of the same design as one at Barricane Beach, to the north but now altered, one of three used for triangulating the accuracy of air-bombing of a floating target in Morte Bay. The training structures are important as evocative reminders of the extensive preparations by British and American troops during the Second World War.

Sandford Parks Lido, Keynsham Road, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire

Listed Grade II | 1462183

Sandford Parks Lido is a remarkably intact example of a 1930s lido in the Arts and Crafts style. It was built in 1934-1938 for Cheltenham Borough Council and was designed by Borough Engineer G Gould Marsland with the advice of landscape architect Edward White.

It opened in May 1935 and survives unusually with its filtration plant room still intact containing its original boilers and compressors, as well as fittings such as ornate turnstiles to the main entrance. The café also has winged covered terraces representative of the 1930s enthusiasm for outdoor leisure, particularly in spa resorts such as Cheltenham. Spa resorts were popular during the inter-war years when fresh air and fitness were widely embraced by the public.

Porchester Centre, Queensway, Bayswater, London

Upgraded from Grade II to Grade II* | 1262987

The Porchester Centre in Bayswater is an unusually elaborate civic building of the 1920s which survives with little alteration. The centre’s Turkish bath complex is now exceptionally rare, and the opulent main hall was famously featured in Monty Python’s ‘The Meaning of Life’, with the Mr Creosote sketch filmed here in 1982.

The first Victorian Turkish bath in England opened in 1857, and London’s first complex followed soon after in 1860. Porchester Baths reflect the continuation of the essential Victorian Turkish bath arrangement into the 1920s, with three dry-heated chambers, a plunge pool, a body wash area and a distinct, upper-level cooling-room all surviving with original features intact. Since the original listing in 1994, understanding of the history of the Turkish bath in Britain has been greatly enhanced. From over 500 Turkish baths which once existed in England, there are only five that are still in use today. Porchester Baths is considered to be the best example, in terms of the quality of the scheme and its extent of survival.

The Seagull Shipwreck, Off Horsey Gap, Norfolk

Scheduled | 1464587

The Seagull is a 19th-century paddle steamer lying off Horsey Gap, near Great Yarmouth in Norfolk. Built in 1848 in Belfast by Coates and Young at Lagan Foundry, it is a rare early example of a sail-assisted paddle steamer, a type of ship that became obsolete in the mid-19th century with the development of propeller driven vessels. It was used as a cargo vessel for around 20 years before sinking in a collision in 1868 while on route from Hull to Rotterdam, with a cargo of raw cotton on board.

The wreck was identified by the discovery of the bell by a local diver in 1994 which was inscribed ‘Seagull 1848’. The vessel remains upright and largely intact on the seabed and the remains of paddle wheels can be seen.

The Xanthe Shipwreck, Off Horsey Gap, Norfolk

Scheduled | 1464597

Xanthe was a sail-assisted steam-powered cargo ship built in Hull in 1862 by Martin Samuelson and Co. The ship was used to trade coal and ore between the Tyne and Spain. It sank in a collision in 1869 off Horsey Gap, near Great Yarmouth, the year after the Seagull paddle steamer, with no loss of life. The Xanthe was discovered in the late 1980s by a survey ship but only dived by local divers in 1991. It lies upright and remarkably intact on the sea floor and an abundance of coal can be seen inside the vessel due to the absence of decking. The early compound engine appears to survive within the wreck.

Nursemaids’ Tunnel, Regent’s Park, London

Listed Grade II | 1465464

The Nursemaids’ Tunnel is one of the earliest surviving pedestrian subways in London. It was built in 1821 after local residents petitioned for a tunnel under the New Road (now Marylebone Road) to link Park Crescent from the south to the gardens in Park Square. The busy road was considered dangerous, especially to children who were often taken to the park by a nursemaid.

The tunnel’s portals are approached by gently sloping ramps which are perfect for prams. The portals are well-executed in stucco, each with fluted Doric columns flanking the arched entrances. The tunnel demonstrates a high degree of survival of its original fabric, even retaining iron hooks and chains embedded in the walls, thought to be fixtures for oil lamps from the original lighting scheme.

The Pearl Centre, Peterborough, Cambridgeshire

Grade II Listed Building | 1462664 and Grade II Registered Park and Garden | 1462808

The Pearl Centre is part of Lynch Wood Business Park on the outskirts of Peterborough. It is a striking Post-Modern building designed by Chapman Taylor Partners as the new headquarters for the Pearl Assurance company which was relocating from London. The building was commissioned to be future-proof so it could adapt with changing technologies and stand the test of time.

Post-Modern architecture borrows from existing architectural styles and was closely associated with the economic boom of the 1980s. The complex was built between 1989 and 1992 and has three square blocks of open-plan offices linked together, each with its own distinctive atrium. Decorative elements around the site echo Moorish traditions and the work of Charles Rennie Mackintosh, whose work saw a resurgence in popularity at the time. The Pearl Centre sits in a bespoke designed landscape by Professor Arnold Weddle which is recognised as an important piece of design work in its own right. The creation of features including lakes, a wildflower meadow and a ziggurat structure was part of a wider plan to provide an enjoyable setting for staff.

Birmingham Children's Hospital, Steelhouse Lane, Birmingham

Listed Grade II | 1465510

Birmingham Children’s Hospital was built as the city’s General Hospital between 1893 and 1897 to designs by architect William Henman. The hospital was built on a grand scale and laid out on the ‘pavilion plan’ which had become the norm in the second half of the century.

One of the hospital’s most notable features is its intricate brick and terracotta detailing, which was also carried out on a grand scale with the most elaborate elements focussed around the main entrance forecourt. Careful attention to detail was paid throughout with features such as the carved panels on the exterior of the original nurses’ home, and grand interior spaces such as the chapel, outpatients’ waiting hall and main staircases all still surviving.

Cabmen's Shelter, Northumberland Avenue at the Junction with Embankment Place, London

Listed Grade II | 1462592

Cabmen's shelters are rare survivors of an ornamental building type very specific to the operation of hansom cabs in London. The Northumberland Avenue cabmen’s shelter was built in 1915 and is a fine example of a shelter erected by the Cabmen’s Shelter Fund, based on Maximilian Clarke’s original design of 1882.

It is one of 13 examples to survive in London – the majority of these are listed. It represents one of the few relics of the horse age to remain in use, albeit now for taxi drivers. The internal fittings of the oak-framed building are predominantly modern, as is common amongst the remaining London cabmen’s shelters. However, the original open-plan galley kitchen and cabmen’s mess arrangement remains, as does the original roof structure beneath the suspended ceiling.

Church House Farm, Wellington, Herefordshire

Upgraded from Grade II to Grade II* | 1179793

Church House Farm was first listed in 1985 at Grade II and was described at the time as an 18th century house which probably had earlier origins. Recent renovation work by the owners has revealed much more about these origins, including the remarkable discovery of a very rare and surprisingly intact scheme of decorative wall paintings. They are thought to date from the late 16th century in the style known as ‘antiquework’, as well as traces of an additional decorative scheme thought to date from the 17th century. These discoveries have considerable historic significance, and give valuable insight into society at the time, and the social, religious and intellectual aspirations of the owners of the property.

K1 Telephone Kiosk, Newsholme Dean, near Keighley, West Yorkshire

Listed Grade II | 1464540

This K1 telephone kiosk is located alongside the weir at Dean Beck, in a field at Newsholme Dean. The K1 was Britain's first national telephone kiosk and only a handful survive – all of the seven known examples are listed. This example is most probably a Mk 235 model designed in 1922 by the Office of Engineer in Chief, General Post Office and introduced in the same year. Production ceased in 1927 when a newer model, the Mk 236 was introduced.

The kiosk was moved from its original location and re-purposed for use in the mid-20th century as a housing for water-flow measuring equipment. This was a relatively common occurrence at the time when older telephone boxes became redundant and were re-purposed for use by other utility industries - in this case, the water industry. The kiosk at Newsholme Dean no longer contains any equipment and is disused.

First World War Practice Trenches, Tolsford Hill, Saltwood, Kent

Scheduled | 1463181

First World War practice trenches were developed to build the physical strength and resilience of new recruits, to establish bonds of teamwork and trust, and to teach them how to construct and maintain trenches, before all these skills were needed on the battlefield. The features at Tolsford Hill are well-preserved and include lines of fire trenches, communications trenches and mock craters. The trench system was constructed around 1914 and is now filled in – a number where backfilled whilst the site was in use and the remainder shortly after 1919.

The large-scale training of recruits prior to their departure to the Western Front in the First World War was very important and although these trenches leave few visual marks above ground, they can be understood through buried archaeology. These trenches enhance our understanding of national defence policy and are a poignant memorial to the young men of the Canadian Expeditionary Force, RAF Cadets, 31st Middlesex regiment and the Russian Relief Force who trained here before going on to fight in the trenches in Europe.

The South Australian Shipwreck, Bristol Channel

Scheduled | 1465225

The South Australian was a clipper ship that sailed annually between London and the state of South Australia for about 20 years carrying heavy goods such as coal and large construction materials. It was built in 1868 at North Sands in Sunderland by William Pile and is a year older than Cutty Sark. It is known to have delivered the Victoria Bridge to Australia in July 1869 which spanned the River Torrens, the most significant river of the Adelaide Plains.

It sank in February 1889 while on passage from Cardiff to Rosario in Argentina after running into a gale off Lundy Island in the Bristol Channel. The captain tried to outrun the gale, but the heavy iron cargo rolled about in the hold in the tremendous seas and broke through the hull.

The South Australian is protected as the only clipper ship-wrecked in English waters that was built during the first decade of clipper ship construction. The most obvious feature of the wreck is the large stack of iron rails extending some 3.8 metres above the seabed.

The Chapel of Rest, Brompton-By-Sawdon, North Yorkshire

Listed Grade II | 1461537

This small chapel was built in 1889 to serve the rural community at Brompton-by-Sawden. It is an important early work by English architect Temple Lushington Moore, who went on to become one of the country's leading church architects of the Edwardian period. He was responsible for building 38 new churches in England, nearly all of which are listed.

Despite its small size, the Chapel of Rest displays a number of features that are characteristic of Moore’s designs, including the use of asymmetry, the subtle variations in stonework and the impression that the building has evolved over centuries, even though it is less than 150 years old. The marbled dado and parquet flooring inside the church reflect the simple quality that make the design exceptional. The tower roof is very similar to that used by Moore between 1884 and 1887 for Grade II* listed St Aidan’s Church in Carlton, North Yorkshire.

Direction Stones near Middle Chinnock, Somerset

Listed Grade II | 1466298 and 1466289

These direction stones are located to the north and south of Middle Chinnock village at the road junctions between Crewkerne and Yeovil. They are artistically carved with cuffed pointing hands which adds to their special interest. They are good examples of mid-18th century direction markers on a rural route, before alternative ways between the two towns were turnpiked under the Crewkerne Act of 1765, the Yeovil Act of 1753 and the implementation of the General Turnpike Act in 1773. The direction stones are evidence of the routes before this, directing people on relatively well-made roads. This highlights the development of our transport network and the improvement of road infrastructure.

Lych Gate and Coffin Rest at The Church of St Michael and All Angels, Brampton Abbotts, Herefordshire

Listed Grade II | 1464172

The lych gate and coffin rest at the Grade II* listed Church of St Michael and All Angels dates from 1931 and was designed in an Arts and Crafts gothic style by leading ecclesiastical architect WD Caroe. Built of stone and timber under a stone slate roof, it forms a picturesque and welcoming entrance to the medieval churchyard. Above the arch is an inscription which reads “I AM THE WAY.”

Lych gates are the ornamental gateways which lead to churchyards. They symbolise the threshold between the secular and sacred zones of a parish and serve a practical function of storing a coffin before burial. Their name derives from the Anglo-Saxon or German word for corpse: lich, or leiche. Lych gates were used as a meeting point and shelter for mourners. The group would convene beneath it and would be met by the priest prior to entering the consecrated churchyard for the funeral service. Some lych gates have a slab or rest specifically to hold the coffin, and many also have benches.

Fountains in Promenade Gardens, St Anne’s-on-Sea, Lancashire

Listed Grade II | 1463337 (Spray Fountain) and 1463338 (Drinking Fountain)

The two-tiered spray fountain in the Promenade Gardens at St Anne’s stands in an ornamental planted area at the centre of the northern gardens. The richly detailed design is playful, reflecting the seaside location. It is topped by a putto (cherubic child) and decorated with pelicans and relief scenes of a squirrel, dragonfly and bird and another putto wearing a flower as a hat and sailing a boat crafted from a leaf. The whole fountain resembles an elaborate water plant.

The drinking fountain which stands on the corner of the South Promenade and East Bank Road is more restrained in design but is still richly decorated with birds and flowers inspired by the natural world. Both cast-iron fountains, dating from around 1900, are the work of Walter MacFarlane and Company from Glasgow. MacFarlane’s were one of the best-known suppliers of cast-iron structures in the world. The Promenade Gardens, protected as a registered landscape, contain five other listed structures including a bandstand, octagonal pavilion and two shelters, which are probably all by MacFarlane’s.


New designations - 553
Major amendments - 160
Minor text amendments - 3,634
Total Entries 400,680

Shipwrecks - Eight shipwrecks have been scheduled in 2019. 

Sometimes it is more appropriate to protect a shipwreck by scheduling under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological areas Act 1979 rather than under the Protection of Wrecks Act 1973.

When a shipwreck is scheduled it recognises that it is of national importance, and it is included in the National Heritage List for England. Recreational divers are free to dive it, but they must respect the wreck site and not damage or remove anything from it.

The Protection of Wrecks Act 1973 allows the Secretary of State to designate a restricted area around a wreck in order to prevent uncontrolled interference. Access to such sites is restricted only to divers who have been granted a licence by the Secretary of State.