The Gardens Trust (GT) has commented on the draft Historic England Industrial Heritage Strategy. The strategy aims to set out a clear vision for the protection of industrial heritage.
Industrial buildings and infrastructure often sit within important landscapes. Many power stations, reservoirs and roads had landscapes designed specifically for them by eminent landscape architects. We support this initiative as a good way to draw attention to the wealth of interesting and important industrial landscapes in England and to encourage further research, recognition and protection.
Points made in our response, written by Sally Stradling on behalf of the Gardens Trust, highlight:
Prior to the redevelopment of large parts of the 18th to 20th century industrial areas of Banbury in Oxfordshire, an industrial archaeology survey of the Oxford canal corridor identified previously unknown pre- and post-1800 industrial heritage. Although there was sadness at the demolition of some historic buildings, the study meant that there was a record of their existence and some buildings were converted to new uses.
Many 20th century industrial developments, such as power stations, reservoirs, factories or flyovers, have landscape settings designed for them by eminent architects, planners and landscape architects. These include the design by Maxwell Fry and Peter Youngman for the Pilkington Glass Factory, Sylvia Crowe’s design for the Cumberland Bridge flyover in Bristol, and Sir Frederick Gibberd’s work at Didcot A Power Stations and Derwent Reservoir. Our post-war gardens and landscapes project succeeded in adding two such landscapes to the register in 2019: the watercourse designed by Sir Geoffrey Jellicoe for Cadbury’s factory in Moreton and Dan Kiley’s landscape for the Cummins Engine Factory in Darlington.
However, too few 20th century industrial landscape settings are currently recognised and protected. Such landscapes deserve to be urgently researched and assessed for inclusion on the national Register of Parks and Gardens or included in Local Development Plans as assets of local interest.
The GT believes that there should be a comprehensive assessment of the designed landscapes of industrial heritage, whether surviving or not. This would enable us to raise the profile of these sites through research, publication and lectures, We would welcome the opportunity to work with Historic England on the compilation of a national list of Industrial Designed Landscapes.
View the Historic England draft Industrial Heritage Strategy