Exterior view of a leisure centre with a large domed roof structure
The Dome of Doncaster Leisure Centre, South Yorkshire. Grade II listed. © Historic England Archive. DP371741. View List entry 1485053
The Dome of Doncaster Leisure Centre, South Yorkshire. Grade II listed. © Historic England Archive. DP371741. View List entry 1485053

16 Remarkable Historic Places Listed in 2023

As 2023 draws to a close, Historic England is celebrating 16 remarkable historic gems added to the National Heritage List for England over the past year.

They feature a rare intact Second World War radar station in Northumberland, an exceptional manor house in Norfolk with interiors spanning 500 years of history, and an extremely rare Iron Age cave known as a fogou in Cornwall which had its list entry amended with new information to help with its future management.

Other additions include:

  • A carriage wash dating to 1600 in Hertfordshire, believed to be England’s earliest known ‘modern day car wash’
  • A railway pub built by the Stockton and Darlington Railway, which was effectively a prototype for an early railway station
  • A striking post-war church in Lancashire, designed to reflect an upturned boat
  • An inventive 1980s giant leisure centre in Yorkshire, the largest in Europe at the time of its construction
  • A rare, purpose-built Arts and Crafts clubhouse at a golf club in Buckinghamshire, linked to winning European 2023 and current Ryder Cup Captain Luke Donald.

Listings in 2023

Additions to the List in 2023

  • Listing: 205
  • Scheduled Monuments: 17
  • Parks and Gardens: 5

Total: 227

Amendments to the List in 2023

  • Listing: 231
  • Scheduled Monuments: 7
  • Parks and Gardens: 1

Total: 239

The striking range of places listed this year is a vivid demonstration of the richness and variety of our national heritage. The great work done by Historic England will ensure that they are protected for future generations to enjoy – and to learn about the fascinating people and stories connected with them.
Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay Heritage Minister
A range of remarkable historic buildings and sites are added to the List each year and 2023 is no exception. We’ve examined and protected some amazing sites this year, which together give us a window into our rich and varied historic environment. The festive period is a great time to find out more about the historic places all around us. I encourage everyone to explore the heritage on our doorsteps and to add what they discover to our Missing Pieces Project for everyone to see and enjoy.
Duncan Wilson, Chief Executive Historic England

Barkway Carriage Wash, Royston, Hertfordshire

Listed at Grade II | Read the List entry

Barkway Carriage Wash (also known as ‘carriage splash’) has stood in the same location since the 17th century and is believed to be the earliest known example of a ‘modern-day car wash’. It is one of only 4 such structures known in England.

A carriage wash serves 2 purposes: cleaning coach wheels and nameplates while also soaking the wheels to prevent wood shrinkage from metal rims. Located near a road, it draws water from an underground channel. This brick-lined structure features a gentle slope leading into the water, maintaining an optimal depth for wheel submersion without risking carriage flooding. Surrounding brick retaining walls contain the water.

Barkway was an important stop-over en route from London to Cambridge and the north of England during the heyday of the coaching era. It was known to have been used into the 20th century until carriages were replaced with motor cars. It is reported that residents remember it being used for filling steam tractors well into the 20th century.

The Railway Tavern, Northgate, Darlington

Listed at Grade II | Read the List entry

The Railway Tavern public house in Darlington was 1 of 3 pubs built between 1826 and 1827 by the pioneering Stockton and Darlington Railway (S&DR) to serve the needs of its customers.

These pubs, essentially proto-railway stations built predating the concept, were built next to one of the S&DR’s coal depots, expected to be the railway’s primary source of revenue before passenger services flourished unexpectedly. Darlington’s coal depot was at the end of a short branch line, so the Railway Tavern was some 350 metres from the main line and did not develop into a fully functioning railway station. However, it thrived as a pub and is the only 1 of the 3 still operating.

Like the S&DR’s other buildings, the Railway Tavern was architecturally modest. Its large ground-floor windows and some internal features result from a late 19th century refurbishment designed by the nationally noted Darlington-based architect G.G. Hoskins.

Beaconsfield Golf Club Clubhouse, Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire

Listed at Grade II | Read the List entry

The clubhouse at Beaconsfield Golf Club was built between 1913 and 1914. It is a rare and largely intact example of a purpose-built Arts and Crafts clubhouse from England's first great period of golf course expansion between 1890 and 1914. Designed by Stanley Hinge Hamp, a notable commercial architect of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the clubhouse is of high quality architecturally with an elaborately decorated hall on the first floor.

The Golf Club was founded by Colonel William Baring Du Pre, an international sportsman, soldier and MP. The renowned golf course designer, Harry Colt, laid out the course.

During its history, many famous names have been associated with the club as members or honorary members. These include Luke Donald, the former World Number 1 who was Club Champion while still a junior member of the Club, as well as Golfer and TV presenter Peter Allis, whose father Percy was the professional at Beaconsfield in the 1930s.

In women’s golf, this includes amateur golfer “Cecil” (Cecilia) Leitch, the dominant player in British Women's golf in the 1910s and part of the 1920s.

Church of St Nicholas, Fleetwood, Lancashire

Listed at Grade II | Read the List entry

This impressive church is a rare example in the north of England by Lawrence King, one of the leading ecclesiastical architects of the post-war period. Built between 1960 and 1962, its bold sculptural design in the form of an upturned boat is dominated by sheer tower walls and tall copper-clad roofs with unusual triangular dormer windows representing sails. King created its upturned boat design to emphasise Fleetwood’s strong maritime connections, and its dedication to St Nicholas, the Patron Saint of Sailors, cements this association.

The light and lofty interior, with multiple trusses rising from the ground like the ribs of a ship, even incorporates red and green port and starboard lights on either side of the crossing. There are many original fixtures and fittings, including some very finely carved and painted statues of The Virgin Mary and St Nicholas designed by the architect. Lawrence King was a gifted designer and an important voice in adding artworks to churches after the Second World War (Faith Craft), which produced different works intended to beautify worship.

The Dome, Doncaster Leisure Park, South Yorkshire

Listed at Grade II | Read the List entry

At the time of construction, around 1986 to 1989, The Dome was the largest leisure centre in Europe. It was designed around a vast central atrium and welcomed visitors to multiple sports with a leisure pool, ice rink, sports and events halls, and squash courts. Commissioned by Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council as a major leisure and tourism venue to drive economic regeneration, it was designed by architects’ practice Faulkner-Brown Hendy Watkinson Stonor, pioneers and then specialists in the development of post-war leisure centre buildings.

The bold, geometric shapes, polished banded walls and dramatic steel frame blended Post-Modernist and High Tech motifs to create an eye-catching building, where the obvious intent was pleasure and fun rather than serious sport.

The largely intact layout includes pools of different shapes and depths cascading into each other, with water features like flumes interspersed with planting areas. The indoor pool leads into a heated outdoor pool, one of the first of its kind in the country.

When it opened, The Dome attracted over 1 million visitors annually and won awards from RIBA (1991), and the International Olympic Committee and International Association for Sports and Leisure Facilities (1993). Its high-quality design and built-in flexibility mean it still offers visitors a varied and up-to-date sports and cultural events programme.

Chain Home Low Radar Station, Craster, Northumberland

Listed at Grade II | Read the List entry

Built in 1941, this Second World War radar station remains intact, with 2 principal buildings and original room fittings, which include a generator bed, cable ducts and evidence of power transmission. Its intact condition shows how it functioned as a small, low-cover coastal radar station designed to detect and monitor the movement of German shipping in the light of their potential invasion of Britain in the early years of the Second World War.

Though over 200 radar stations existed during the Second World War, only 75 were either coastal defence or ‘chain home low’ stations, and only 8 of these survive in a complete or near-complete condition. Chain home low stations had 2 principal buildings: an operations building bearing the aerial platform that supported the antennae that was once mounted upon it, and a separate engine room. They provided early warning of German aerial attacks, playing a crucial role in the country's air defence during the Battle of Britain, which changed the course of the Second World War. They are a physical reminder of wartime tensions and fears and the need for a national defence system, which resulted in the construction of a chain of radar stations to protect Britain's coast.

Northwold Manor, Northwold, Norfolk

Listed at Grade II* | Read the List entry

Northwold Manor has a prominent position on the High Street in the medieval village of Northwold. It was an early addition to the List, granted Grade II listed status in 1951. However, at that time, the interior wasn’t described.

This manor house, with its interconnecting rooms and unusual lack of corridors, has been reappraised as having exceptional architectural and historic interest because it reflects 500 years of various architectural styles from the 16th century to the 21st century. This house is a time capsule of the evolution of architectural design, which is rarely seen in a single building. Sitting on a one-acre plot within a walled garden, the house has been adapted over time by continual expansion and is now around 60 metres long. At a glance, the building resembles a village High Street more than a family home.

Once owned by the Carter family (relatives of British archaeologist and Egyptologist Howard Carter), highlights include a ballroom from the Regency period, panelled 18th century parlours, a 16th century range, an impressive 17th century oak staircase and a classical archway into the first-floor porch chamber with fluted ionic columns. The carved fanlight above the main entrance is of the highest significance and is a rare survival.

Lower Boscaswell Fogou, St Just, Cornwall

Amendment to Scheduled Monument | Read the List entry

Fogou is a name derived from the Cornish for cave. Fogous are underground stone-built tunnels up to 30 metres long and 2 metres wide, usually with a long passage and sometimes with a chamber and side passages. Their drystone walls were built in a trench, roofed with flat slabs and covered by earth. They were mainly constructed in the early Iron Age (500 BC to 200 BC) and continued to be in use into the Roman period (AD 43 to 410). They are extremely rare, with the remains of only 15 fogous known to survive in England and all of them in Cornwall.

They are associated with settlements and were possibly used as a safe refuge or for storing food and valuables. In pre-Roman times, they may have had a religious or ritual significance.

This fogou was first recorded in 1842 and was first scheduled in 1970. Its List entry has been amended to include new information derived from archaeological excavations in the 1950s and 1980s. These provided a better understanding of the extent of the site and its potential relationship with a courtyard-house settlement to the north. The amendment also mapped the monument more clearly to help with its future management.

Swingate Water Tower, Nottinghamshire

Listed at Grade II | Read the List entry

Constructed in the immediate post-war period by Ritchie and Partners, this reinforced concrete Water Tower was built alongside a large, new covered reservoir to provide Nottingham with a more reliable drinking water supply. It is unusual because of its striking neo-Georgian style and a surprising degree of architectural embellishment for a building of this type and date. 

Adding long strip windows to the access tower adds to the impression of its height. It contrasts with most post-war water towers, generally utilitarian reinforced concrete structures designed principally with practical considerations in mind.

Cavendish Community Primary School, Manchester

Listed at Grade II | Read the List entry

With its terracotta decoration, this architecturally striking primary school was built in 1904 in a Jacobean revival style by Ernest Woodhouse (1874 to 1923). The forward-thinking education committee included a detached block for teaching cooking and manual crafts, which other schools shared. The school was also designed so that it could easily be extended, as it eventually was.

The survival of original features is good throughout, including glazed timber partitions and doors, fireplaces, one real slate blackboard, a service lift, and original parquet flooring and wall tiling. However, the halls on each floor are the showstoppers, with their attractive green and yellow Art Nouveau flower-pattern tiling and remarkable fireplaces at each end, complete with their original grates.

Former Liverpool Furnishing Company showroom, Liverpool

Listed at Grade II | Read the List entry

This majestic furniture showroom dates back to 1899, when it was purpose-built for a successful company then operating next door, run by Jacob Lipson. The flamboyant Edwardian Baroque exterior includes decorated terracotta, embellished windows and a landmark clock tower. It is a good example of a late 19th century commercial building.

The ghost sign of its externally painted lettering ‘THE LIVERPOOL FURNISHING CO’ still exists, more than 100 years after the company ceased trading and the building was converted into a bank and offices. Jacob Lipson was a prominent figure in the local Jewish community after emigrating from Poland. He became president of the New Hebrew Congregation, worshipping in the Hope Place synagogue. The opening of his new building was celebrated with a Jewish blessing and a banquet in the basement.

Deep Pit Railway Footbridge, Hindley, Greater Manchester

Listed at Grade II | Read the List entry

This unusually long, single-span, wrought-iron pedestrian railway footbridge dates from 1887.

It was built during the peak period of railway bridge construction and spanned 9 tracks, with a large ramp on the south side rather than steps leading up to it. It has survived with minimal alteration, and its architectural interest lies in its elegant design.

The Light House, Hampstead, London

Listed at Grade II | Read the List entry

The Light House was designed by architect Ivan Simovic (1932 to 2012) for his family. Built between 1984 and 1985, the building is an important, well-preserved example of how Post-Modern ideas could be used in a small-scale domestic project. The design ingeniously uses its tight plot, with the interior arranged ‘as efficiently as in a space capsule’, as contemporary critic Martin Pawley noted.

A key element of the house’s interest is its use of playful spatial effects and unfolding views of the garden. The central triple-height core and other openings on the first floor allow light to penetrate deep into the building, casting sharp shadows against the curved internal surfaces. Externally, the integration of the house with the landscaped garden is emphasised by the cut-away, double-height glazing, revealing an original Post-Modern summer house.

Swanwick Common Colliery Headstock and Winding House, Swanwick, Derbyshire

Listed at Grade II | Read the List entry

Swanwick's headstock and winding house are rare survivors of a private, small-scale, early 20th century colliery. Coal has been mined in this area since at least the 13th century. The colliery infrastructure survives well enough to show how and where miners and equipment were raised and lowered into a pit via machinery called the headstock. The winding house is the building that housed the machinery which wound the cables for the lift. This type of colliery was once common and contributed greatly to England’s coal industry’s production. They are now largely forgotten and little understood.

Historic England is not aware of any surviving colliery sites in England directly comparable to it in terms of scale. However, there is a reconstruction of a small pit complex at the Black Country Living Museum in Dudley.

Mickling Barf, Grimsby, Lincolnshire

Listed at Grade II | Read the List entry

Mickling Barf was built between 1962 and 1983 by architect couple Rex and Jenifer Critchlow as their family home and remains remarkably unaltered today. It is an excellent example of a modern house built with strong attention to detail and a design focus incorporating influences from various sources. Its “30/60” grid design provides unusual and interesting spaces, including the central living and dining areas with abundant natural light, and interplay between the internal and external spaces.

Simple materials such as timber and brick are used thoughtfully throughout, bringing character and contrast to the house. The house features good-quality, bespoke, inbuilt fixtures and fittings such as kitchen fittings and bespoke shelving.

The Critchlows were friends of internationally renowned architect Peter Aldington and his wife Margaret, who were building their own house, Grade II* listed Turn End, Haddenham, around the same time as the Critchlows. Mickling Barf shows similar influences to some of Aldington's work, as well as the work of celebrated American architect Frank Lloyd Wright and Finnish architect Alvar Aalto.

Cumberland Basin, Bristol

Amendments to 2 listings (Grade II and Grade II*)

Cumberland Basin is part of Bristol’s Floating Harbour, an ambitious 19th century engineering project aimed at maintaining Bristol’s competitiveness in international trade.

Constructed between 1803 and 1809 to the scheme of Chief Engineer William Jessop, the Floating Harbour’s innovative design ensured dock operations regardless of the water levels of the tidal River Avon. The South Entrance Lock and Junction Lock, leading into Cumberland Basin, were notable as the largest structures of their kind at the time.

Historic England reviewed the Cumberland Basin listings for Bristol City Council to help inform the future management of the area.

The Missing Pieces Project: uncover hidden histories and highlight overlooked stories

We’d love you to add your story about protected places in your area to the Missing Pieces Project. It could be a new photo, your memories, or something you know about the historic place. You can add photos, drawings, audio, film, or text.

Everything you add is an important piece of the picture. And the more pieces of the picture we have, the better we can celebrate and protect what makes these places special.

Add your story

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