The heritage of the South Pennines Park is truly amazing in its diversity. People and their work have left a visible mark on the South Pennines in the form of roads, canals, railways, packhorse trails and other landmarks. There is a rich time depth, from prehistoric features, such as carved rocks, to medieval boundary stones, old mineral extraction sites and more recently, mills, factories and non-conformist chapels. Our heritage needs active support if it is to be maintained for future generations to appreciate and enjoy.
Historic England is a public body that helps people care for, enjoy and celebrate England’s spectacular historic environment. One way they do this is by ‘listing’ buildings and other locations of historical and cultural significance. The aim of listing is to highlight the significance of each place, and to ensure any changes do not result in the loss of its significance. As we near the end of the year, Historic England has published a list of 240 sites across the country that were added to the National Heritage List for England in 2022.
One such location is the Former Union Bank of Manchester, Heywood. Sitting within Rochdale, this Grade II listed building was built in 1909 in Edwardian Baroque style in high-quality ashlar sandstone. It features ornate detailing that would have required time and skill to create. With a slate roof and leaded domes, it is an interesting wedge shape due to its location. However, as recorded on Historic England’s listing of the building, The Heywood Advertiser of 27 November 1909 described it as ‘a commodious and convenient banking house …with good cellars, and a capital suite of offices above the bank, and the elevations have been so contrived that the attentive observer in the street would not be able to discover that the site is not square.’
A second location, now listed, is the Former Skipton County Court and attached railings on Otley Street, Skipton. This building is a great example of a purpose-built local county court. It sits within a group of other listed buildings, the Town Hall, the Tolbooth, Church of Holy Trinity and Skipton Castle. The building itself was constructed in 1856 and 1857 in the Italianate style. It features Welsh slate roofs, cast iron guttering, and wooden sash window frames. There is a free standing, gilt painted, Royal Arms with the motto Dieu Et Mon Droit in raised lettering, which points to the building’s use; it is the English motto of the court system and the monarchy. You can read more about Skipton in our recent blog here.
In 2023, we will launch a Heritage Strategy for the South Pennines Park. This strategy will inspire people and organisations to look after the rich and diverse heritage of the South Pennines. Sign up to our newsletter to keep up to date with our work, including the launch of our Heritage Strategy by email email@example.com with “Subscribe to newsletter” as the subject.
Photos: Historic England