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Historic England

Historic England and the English Heritage Trust


The official name of Historic England is the Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission for England. It was first established in 1984 and, until 1st April 2015, was commonly known as English Heritage.  At that point its common name changed to Historic England and a new charity, officially called the English Heritage Trust, took the name of English Heritage.

English Heritage looks after the National Heritage Collection of more than 400 state-owned historic sites and monuments across England.  It cares for and opens them to the public under a licence from Historic England that runs until 2025.


National Heritage List for England (NHLE) 

The National Heritage List for England (NHLE) is the only official, up to date, register of all nationally protected historic buildings and sites in England - listed buildings, scheduled monuments, protected wrecks, registered parks & gardens and battlefields.


Listed Buildings

Listing marks and celebrates a building's special architectural and historic interest, and also brings it under the consideration of the planning system, so that it can be protected for future generations.  The older a building is, and the fewer the surviving examples of its kind, the more likely it is to be listed.

The general principles are that all buildings built before 1700 which survive in anything like their original condition are likely to be listed, as are most buildings built between 1700 and 1850. Particularly careful selection is required for buildings from the period after 1945. Buildings less than 30 years old are not normally considered to be of special architectural or historic interest because they have yet to stand the test of time.


How are listed buildings graded?

  • Grade I buildings are of exceptional interest, only 2.5% of listed buildings are Grade I
  • Grade II* buildings are particularly important buildings of more than special interest; 5.8% of listed buildings are Grade II*
  • Grade II buildings are of special interest; 91.7% of all listed buildings are in this class and it is the most likely grade of listing for a home owner.

Surprisingly the total number of listed buildings is not known, as one single entry on the National Heritage List for England (NHLE) can sometimes cover a number of individual units, such as a row of terraced houses. However, we estimate that there are around 500,000 listed buildings on the NHLE.


Missing Pieces Project

All over England, there are places with stories to tell.  These range from buildings to battlefields.  The Missing Pieces Project invites you to share pictures and stories of the unique, significant and memorable places on the National Heritage List for England (otherwise known as ‘the List’).  The List is a register of all nationally protected historic buildings and sites across England.

I have probably spent most of the last twenty years, or so, of using digital photography taking pictures of buildings that I found interesting, whilst on my travels.  That seems to have increased over the last four or five years, and more emphasis was given to places more local to me.  One of the factors was a reduction in travel after the Covid-19 outbreak.  However, whilst I had been aware of the concept of listing buildings, I wasn't really aware of the ability to search for them online.  I started using the Historic England website to do this in 2023.

During that process, I stumbled across the Missing Pieces Project.  I didn't know that there was also an initiative to get people to submit their own photographs and comments about England's listed buildings and sites.  It would have been handy to have the list to reference when I was out and about previously, and I would have enjoyed submitting some of my photos to the project as I was going along.

I signed up in April 2023 and, at the time, started contributing to what they were then calling 'Enriching the List'.  At the time of writing, I have made over 500 contributions via comments that you can attach to the individual listings on the Historic England website.  These probably amount to somewhere in the region of 2000 individual photographs.  Most of them have been of buildings in Lancashire and mainly around my home town of Preston, but some have been further afield.

It appears that there was an exercise involving professional photographers, each working in specific areas, that took place around the year 2000.  I presume that they were photographers that were local to each given area.  Opening it up to the public means that there is more input and, other than the moderation administration time, there isn't any cost involved.  The downside to that is that there can be erroneous input.  I have noticed a number of items, uploaded for listed building situated near to where I live, are actually of the wrong building.  The moderators don't have the local knowledge or the resources (...well, probably time) to check.  Nevertheless, it is a good way of doing it.  I have found it quite addictive adding my content and, if I visit a place with my cameras and smartphone, I am generally looking at the Historic England website to see if there are any nearby Listed Buildings to photograph.   

My Historic England public profile is: 
https://historicengland.org.uk/profile/333002/AshleyPreston


TODD HALL, TODD LANE NORTH
TODD HALL, TODD LANE NORTH

If you are the first person to add a photo comment to a specific listing page, your first uploaded image will be used on the 'Overview' section of the page.  That means that you image will be seen by people using the website to review the listing.  

It will also be the one that can be seen on the Google search results listing.

TODD HALL - Historic England - 1074111 - Google listing



The listing for TODD HALL, TODD LANE NORTH (list entry 1074111) can be seen here:

https://historicengland.org.uk/listing/the-list/list-entry/1074111


I have been attempting to fill in the blanks for the listings that are local to me that haven't got an 'Overview' image.


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