Three historic places added to England's National Heritage list
- Credit: Historic England
Three historic places in Cambridgeshire and Suffolk have been added to the National Heritage list for England during 2021.
Rare Cambridgeshire mud walls in Whittlesey, an iconic K6 telephone kiosk in Cambridge and The Dome sports hall in Suffolk are amongst some of the captivating historic sites listed across the East of England this year.
Historic England pulled together the highlights from nearly 300 sites across the country, which have been protected through listing or scheduling in the past year.
Nigel Huddleston, heritage minister, said: “Listing these historic sites means we can protect our valuable heritage for future generations to learn from and ensure they are on the map for local people and visitors to be proud of and enjoy.
“This year’s entries on to the list span the length and breadth of the country and have something to inspire everyone.”
Mud Walls, Whittlesey – listed at Grade II
Despite their location, the mud walls of Whittlesey were built in line with the ‘cob’ tradition of the South West of England, in which earth is bound with straw and mixed with water to create building material.
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Mud walling in Whittlesey is thought to date back to the 18th and 19th centuries when the government imposed a tax on brick and tile.
The tax was intended to help pay off debts incurred during the American War of Independence (1775-1783) but remained in place for decades.
Many properties at the time had long garden plots, which occupants used to grow goods for the town’s market.
Property boundaries were important – increasingly so in the period of land closure in the 18th and early 19th centuries.
Mud walls were an innovative and inexpensive solution. The walls were formed of high-quality clay available from land reclamation in the Fens and then topped with a more durable material.
Across the town, walls have some variation: in height, in material used for the plinth at the base (brick or stone) and in the ‘coping’ (thatch, curved clay tiles or wooden boards) on the top.
Over the decades, many have been lost as plots were sub-divided or were replaced with quick-to-install modern fencing.
The five newly-listed sections of the wall join two already listed sections (to the rear of the Black Bull Inn, and at 4 West End) to illustrate local craft skills and creativity in response to a specific set of economic challenges.
The mud walls can be located at: 5 Delph Street, 9-13 Horsegate, wall between Wades Yard and 14 Horsegate, wall between Whittlesey Conservative Club and 36 Whitmore Street, Old Crown Lane.
K6 telephone kiosk, Grove Lane, St Peter’s Terrace, Cambridge – listed at Grade II
The K6 telephone kiosk was designed by British architect Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, noted for his work on the Anglican Cathedral of Liverpool, Battersea Power Station, Cambridge University Library and the New Bodleian Library Oxford.
It was created in 1935 for the general post office, on the occasion of King George V’s Silver Jubilee.
An instantly recognisable design, the K6 on Grove Lane bears the motif of the crown with ‘ER’ dating it to or after 1952 when Queen Elizabeth II came to the throne.
The K6 was a streamlined and compact development of his highly successful K2 telephone kiosk of 1924.
Over 70,000 K6 telephone kiosks were produced. While they were later replaced by plainer kiosk types, they remain an iconic feature on Britain’s streetscapes.
Located in the Cambridge historic core central conservation area, the K6 is surrounded by more than 20 listed buildings and structures on all sides.
These include a 17th century timber-frame house listed at Grade II, a row of early 19th century houses, a group of ‘Richardson candles’ bespoke lamp posts and, listed at Grade II*, the Judge Business School.
The Dome, Mildenhall, Suffolk - listed at Grade II
The Dome is a sports hall built in 1977 using the highly innovative Bini system.
The system was invented in 1963 by Italian architect Dante Bini who saw in it a means of achieving economy and speed in construction.
In short, the system works by covering a giant neoprene membrane with concrete and inflating it. The membrane is kept inflated for 60 hours to allow the concrete to set, after which windows and doors are cut into the structure.