Inside: Sheila Stones Leaves North West
HELP FOR LIVERPOOLS HERITAGE
English Heritage, Liverpool City Council and other bodies have come together to launch the Historic Environment of Liverpool Project (HELP), to give the public an opportunity to tell developers how they see the future of their city.
The project aims to increase understanding of the city’s heritage, in a bid to avoid the mistakes that have characterised the redevelopment of other cities.
A preliminary poll of residents, carried out by MORI in February, showed great enthusiasm for the historic environment and public attitudes will be constantly monitored during the project.
· The number of boarded up and disused buildings in the city.
· Insufficient funds to save the city’s built heritage and
· A lack of knowledge about the value of the city’s historic environment.
The project follows the Stop the Rot Campaign that featured in the evening paper the Liverpool Echo.
The city centre and suburbs will be the subject of a heritage mapping exercise and the project will see development of a buildings at risk strategy for the city.
The City Council and English Heritage will be jointly funding a conservation officer post during the life of the project.
This is the
Immediate issues are, replacing Sheila as branch chair and national committee member. But, in the longer term, Sheila’s departure provides an opportunity to consider how members see the branch developing and what we expect of the branch chair. Do we want a leader? Or do we want somebody to simply chair the branch meetings, with the branch committee or membership as a whole making decisions? As our membership is so like minded, is it important anyway?
give these matters some thought, and make every effort to attend the branch
The views expressed by contributors do not
necessarily represent those of the
Sheila announced her move, at the March
meeting of the IHBC branch committee, and advised that, as a result, she would
need to resign as national branch representative, branch chair and branch
committee member. Sheila said that she would be happy to resign with immediate
effect or at the
Greater Manchester Conservation Officers Group are nearing completion of their Manual of Conservation Techniques. The IHBC NW Branch have agreed to act as sponsors, giving it their approval, although not providing financial support. Publication is expected later this year.
County archaeologists are currently being sponsored, by English Heritage, to define the character of the regions rural areas.
The research aims to identify and interpret various types of landscape, such as pre enclosure agriculture, by looking at the effects of human activity on the physical landscape.
The information gained will be used to help interpret information contained on sites and monuments records, as well as providing informed advice for development control purposes and projects such as Countryside Stewardship.
It is envisaged that the character appraisals will ultimately become supplementary planning guidance and will be used to review the quality of existing designations such as areas of special county value, feeding into new landscape strategies.
Lancashire’s countryside has already been
However the integrity of the Kathmandu Valley World Heritage Site is under continuing threat from intense development pressure. There has been substantial demolition of historic buildings in and around the monument zones. Lack of public and private resources for conservation coupled with ineffective development control by local authorities in the face of rapid population growth and
the resultant needs for new housing have led UNESCO to consider placing the site on its World Heritage ‘in danger’ list.
Under particular threat is the traditional housing stock which typically consists of three or four storey structures constructed of local fired or sun-dried brick, hardwood and small ‘jhingati’ clay roof tiles. Most date from the 17th – 19th centuries and are particularly notable for the astonishing levels of craftsmanship displayed in carved timber
architectural details : especially window and door apertures, projecting second floor balconies and struts supporting overhanging eaves. Most houses suffer from poor maintenance and there are high levels of long-term disrepair throughout the monument zones. Modern, cheaper methods of building construction, often in the form of tall concrete framed houses, are becoming an increasingly common sight in the historic core areas and are evidence of a culture of non-compliance with local building and planning by-laws.
Local authorities have recently acquired extensive devolved powers but have little experience in the positive management of historic assets, the promotion of heritage-based development initiatives, and working in partnership with local communities. It is now recognised that a key first step will be to find effective ways of protecting and promoting a better public understanding of its unique historic and cultural assets – not just the principal palaces and temples but also their wider urban settings.
Chester City Council is working in partnership with two Nepalese local authorities – Lalitpur Sub-Metropolitan Authority and Khokana Village Development Committee – to help in the development of professional staff skills and the implementation of an effective conservation strategy that will combine protection of the site with sustainable development initiatives.
Funding has been provided by the European
Commission under its Asia Urbs programme - a cultural programme supported by
the Commission’s development and economic funds which is designed to promote
closer links between local governments in Europe and
A draft plan and budget proposal was
prepared by the partners in conjunction with UNESCO World Heritage Centre for
the development of a two year sustainable conservation and training
programme. A second European local
authority – Feltre, from the
The principal activities contained in the project are :
· institutional development to increase the capacity of the Nepalese local authorities to manage the urban environment – a local project team has now been established in Lalitpur consisting of conservation officers, architects, archaeologists and tourism officers.
of international experience in
issues of urban management for political leaders, project partners and key
officers – a week long seminar is to be held in
of training and capacity building
for officers – members of the project team will work within the European local
authority conservation, archaeology and tourism teams. European professionals
will also visit
· building and archaeological recording with a view to developing better systems of recognising and protecting key buildings and areas
· community based sustainable development initiatives, including the establishment of community offices to provide local people with information and advice on traditional building repair and promote a wider understanding of the value of protecting the cultural heritage
· promotion of pilot regeneration projects, including the conversion of traditional buildings to provide high quality tourist accommodation and improvements to the traditional urban water supply
and dissemination of information on seismic
strengthening – the last major earthquake in the
The project commenced in February 2002 and will continue for two years. Of course until a greater degree of political stability is achieved and there is a revival in tourism, it will be extremely difficult to measure the full impact of the project. Nevertheless in the short term it will unquestionably offer an opportunity for local authorities and communities in both Lalitpur and Khokana to work more closely together to develop a shared vision for the future and a better understanding of the potential for sustainable development within their historic urban core areas.
Further progress will be reported in future editions of this newsletter.
Lesley Mitchell has recently been appointed as project officer for the Extensive Urban Survey for
The Lancashire Extensive Urban Survey (EUS)
is an assessment of selected towns within post-1974
An initial study undertaken was by Lancaster University Archaeological Unit in 1997-98 when a total of 57 settlements were examined. Of these, 29 were defined as having significant urban archaeological value and historic characteristics, and it is these towns that are now being studied (see diagram).
The EUS is being carried out over a period of two years by Lancashire County Council and the Egerton Lea Consultancy, with the support of English Heritage. The study proper began in July 2001, the work being done in three overlapping phases, comprising i) data gathering, ii) assessment and iii) strategy.
Although EH set in motion a programme of Extensive Urban Surveys in the early 1990s, the Lancashire EUS differs from the ‘traditional’ types of survey. The main difference is the stage of characterisation which is being introduced.
The importance of historical features within urban areas, and particularly their contribution to heritage-led regeneration, is becoming increasingly important. If such features are to be protected or re-used in the best possible way, it is vital that we take stock of the remaining historic features, so that those that contribute most, to the character of a town, can be protected from destruction or unsuitable development.
This EUS is particularly timely, given that
a number of factors are increasing pressures for change on the historic fabric
Change over time is
inevitable, but it is important that factors which contribute most to the
unique character of
The EUS involves an assessment report for each of the towns featured. As part of these reports each town is divided into historic plan components, which include character types such as hospitals, public or private landscaped grounds, textile- and non-textile-based industrial areas, 19th century grid-iron terraces, handloom weavers’ settlements and railways.
This initial work is then taken a step further in the characterisation stage, which defines and describes the character attributes possessed by the historic plan components. Examples of the recorded attributes include:
· building materials
· building function
· building form
· method of accessing rear yards (for 19th century terraces)
· areas of cobbled surfacing
· presence of old-style street furniture.
The characterisation will extend beyond the identified historic plan components to cover the whole of the remainder of the study area, although in a less detailed way. This will involve the broad characterisation of 20th century housing developments, as well as the identification of areas such as schools, recreation grounds and modern industrial sites.
Assessment and Strategy
Once the data gathering and characterisation processes for a particular town are complete, each character area is assessed according to its rarity, completeness, condition and forces for change. This assessment is used in the formulation of appropriate strategies for management of each area. Both below-ground archaeology and above-ground historic and archaeological fabric will be taken into consideration in the resultant strategy documents.
The main outputs of the Lancs EUS will include:
· the production of a series of Historic Environment Guidance Strategy Reports for Local Planning Authorities;
identification of zones that merit special management policies, (hopefully to
be adopted as
· the creation of new records for inclusion within the SMR, which will increase awareness of the locations and importance of sites.
Although provision will still be made
for individual sites of particular importance, it is to be hoped that the Historic Environment Guidance Strategy Reports will result in a change in the way urban fabric is perceived. Rather than comprising a series of disconnected sites, towns could more usefully be viewed as continuous landscapes made up of historic and more recent plan components which each have a defined archaeological value.
The building in question is on
Webb is believed to have designed the building for a drug manufacturing company, owned by family members.
Not always critically acclaimed,
Webb was nevertheless a highly successful designer of public buildings around
1900, and was responsible for major commissions such as
Although Webb worked extensively
in the provinces there are no other remaining examples of his work on
Merseyside, with the exception of minor fragments of a house in Brackenwood,
Wirral, built for the owners of the
The new Pevsner for
Office: 3 Stafford Terrace Tunbridge Wells