Historic England is highlighting a selection of listed gems from the 240 which were given listed status and added to the National Heritage List for England (NHLE) during 2022.

Amongst those selected by the government body, which looks after buildings with listed status, were a Victorian fountain in Stockton-on-Tees, an almost hidden milestone built on the old Military Road across Northumberland, and a Victorian courthouse built in North Yorkshire.

Historic England manages the National Heritage List for England on behalf of the government and Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). It identifies buildings, monuments, sites and landscapes for listing, which means they receive special protection, so they can be enjoyed by people now and in the future.

Read more: Success as historic North East town centre is removed from the 'at risk' list

Heritage Minister, Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay, said: “Heritage sites tell the story of our country, boost tourism, and help us understand and take pride in where we live. By listing buildings and protecting wrecks, battlefields and monuments, we can safeguard our history for future generations to enjoy as well.

"With an extra 240 places added to the list this year, I'm pleased to join Historic England in encouraging everyone to get out and explore our shared heritage this Christmas.”

Chief Executive of Historic England, Duncan Wilson, said: “The variety of listings this year illustrates the rich diversity of our shared heritage and the importance of everyday places that make up the fascinating fabric of our past. Listing recognises their value so they are protected for the future and everyone can continue to enjoy them.

“In England, 99 per cent of us live less than a mile from a listed site and the festive season is a great time to find out more about the historic places on our doorsteps. This Christmas, we’re inviting everyone to help Enrich the List, by sharing their knowledge and pictures of listed places to help expand our shared understanding and perhaps even unlock some of the secrets of the past.”

The Northern Echo: The cast iron fountain was installed in Ropner Park in Stockton in 1893.The cast iron fountain was installed in Ropner Park in Stockton in 1893. (Image: Historic England)

Fountain, Ropner Park, Hartburn Lane, Stockon-on-Tees – listed at Grade II

The flamboyant Victorian fountain at the heart of Ropner Park in Stockton was granted Grade II listed status this year, reflecting its significant status. The park itself is listed at Grade II* level.

The intricate three-tier fountain was cast by Glasgow company Walter MacFarlane and Company, whose other cast-iron works including telephone kiosks, lamp posts, urinals and so on have been listed for protection in England over 80 times.

The O.T.T. design shows how brash tastes were in the late Victorian age.

The park is named after Sir Robert Ropner of Preston Hall (Stockton-on-Tees), a highly successful local businessman and shipowner, who covered the cost of the new grounds and was rewarded by being made the first Freeman of the Borough, becoming Mayor in 1892.

The Northern Echo: Milestone 7 nearly blends in with its surroundings these days, but it remains historically important.Milestone 7 nearly blends in with its surroundings these days, but it remains historically important. (Image: Historic England)

Milestone 7 on Military Road, Heddon-on-the-Wall, Northumberland - listed at Grade II

Although many people think the last invasion of England came in 1066, a more recent rebellion came during the Second Jacobite Rising of 1745 when Bonnie Prince Charlie, grandson of James II, invaded from Scotland to claim the throne on behalf of his father, after William of Orange was invited to take the throne by Parliament in 1688.

Now almost invisible against an old garden wall in a housing development, the metre-high milestone was erected between 1751 and 1757 as part of the bolstering of defences along the Military Road from Newcastle to Carlisle. This investment came from the new ruling House of Orange, worried that 'The Young Pretender' might come back with his army.

Read more: Historians mark grave of colourful countess

Bonnie Prince Charlie had marched his troops as far south as Derby, partly because the English Field Marshall George Wade and his troops were stuck in Newcastle because of the poor roads and bad weather.

The Military Road (now part of the B6318 and the B6528) was improved to allow troops to move swiftly from the Newcastle garrison to vulnerable points along the border with Scotland.

The milestone at Heddon-on-the-Wall is thought to have had a dual purpose, indicating the distance in miles from the west gate of Newcastle to this stage on the road and acting as a mustering point for soldiers. Unusually, it only indicates the distance one way.

The Northern Echo: The former Skipton County Court.The former Skipton County Court. (Image: Historic England)

Former Skipton County Court, Skipton, North Yorkshire – listed at Grade II

Despite featuring in the town centre, the Victorian courthouse in Skipton almost blends into the background on the corner of Otley Street, apparently very typical of North Yorkshire Victorian architecture. 

It's typical of a new type of building built following an act of Parliament in 1846 which created a system of recovering debts - although few of the smaller courthouses built at this time have survived to the extent that Skipton's has.


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Designed by Metropolitan Police architect Charles Reeve between 1856-57, it has two entrances - one for the judiciary, and one for the public.

Many original features remain including a brick-vaulted and stone-lined Chubb and Sons walk-in safe, the public's entrance vestibule and hall and the Italianate wall scheme in the court room.