Watermill and shipwrecks among heritage sites listed in England

The Historic England list also includes two cab shelters in London and first world war training trenches

A watermill that inspired the landscape artist John Constable, an intact Victorian soup kitchen and two 16th- and 17th-century shipwrecks are among the historic sites to have been listed in England during the past year.

The Historic England national heritage list also includes two cab shelters in London as well as first world war training trenches that have links to the SAS.

The rubble-stone and slate Combe Gillwatermill in the Lake District, once used to mill corn near Borrowdale, Cumbria, became a source of inspiration for many artists, but the most famous was Constable, who produced a pencil and watercolour drawing of the mill in 1806.

A striking red-brick Arts and Crafts house, rebuilt as a doctor’s surgery in 1887 for the working-class community in Ancoats, Manchester, has also been listed. Ancoats housed many of those working in the steam-powered textiles factories, with records showing a Dr Thomas Price, medical officer to the “guardians of the poor” – the board administering the poor law union – originally converting the house into a surgery.

Cab shelter at Pont Street, Kensington and Chelsea, London
Cab shelter at Pont Street, Kensington and Chelsea, London. Photograph: Chris Redgrave/The Historic England Archive, Historic England

A 1920s sunken garden at White Lodge, Brighton, commissioned by the socialite Victoria Sackville, mother of Vita Sackville-West, and designed by the noted architect Edwin Lutyens, has made the list. Joining it are two green London cab shelters, one at Pont Street in Kensington and another at Chelsea Embankment, reminders of the capital’s 19th-century horse-drawn hansom cab trade.

Two 16th- and 17 th-century shingle bank wreck sites, NW96 and NW68, off the Isle of Wight, which contain several cannon and at least 50 large lead ingots and stone cannonballs, are given protected status. The latter vessel, thought to be Dutch, may have been associated with the Battle of Portland in 1653 during the first Anglo-Dutch war.

First world war training trenches, constructed near Docking,Norfolk by the Lovat Scouts, a Scottish Highland yeomanry regiment commanded by Lord Lovat, the uncle of the founder of the SAS David Stirling, include frontline zigzagging trenches to protect against shell blasts.

A 17th-century cottage in the grounds of Berkhamsted Castle, Hertfordshire, where a 19th century extension was built and used as a soup kitchen to distribute food to the Victorian poor, survives. Although soup kitchens were common in the Victoria era, very few are still in their original form.

An 18th century sandstone milestone and troop mustering point on the Military Road from Newcastle to Carlisle, which played an important role in the defence of the north, is now almost invisible against an old stone garden wall in a new development.

The construction of the Military Road allowed troops to move swiftly from the Newcastle garrison, after they had previously got stuck in Newcastle trying to counter the advance of Bonnie Prince Charlie during the second Jacobite rising of 1745.

Lovat Scouts’ first world war training trenches, Docking, Norfolk
Lovat Scouts’ first world war training trenches, Docking, Norfolk. Photograph: Stella Fitzgerald/Historic England Archive

An early 20th-century “tin tabernacle”, the prefabricated corrugated iron Church of St Aidan in Caythorpe, Nottinghamshire, which is still being used as a place of worship, has been added to the list. It is considered a good example of these low-cost, quick assembly buildings, developed in the mid-Victorian era to serve fast-growing industrial towns and cities across England.

The heritage minister, Lord Parkinson, said: “Heritage sites tell the story of our country, boost tourism and help us understand and take pride in where we live. By listing buildings and protecting wrecks, battlefields and monuments, we can safeguard our history for future generations to enjoy as well.”

Duncan Wilson, the chief executive of Historic England, said the variety of listings this year “illustrates the rich diversity of our shared heritage and the importance of everyday places … that make up the fascinating fabric of our past”.

• This article was amended on 15 December 2022 to clarify that the founder of the SAS was David Stirling, not his uncle Lord Lovat as an earlier version suggested.


Caroline Davies

The GuardianTramp

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