Historic parks and gardens

Register of parks and gardens

The record known as the 'Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest in England' and containing nearly 1450 sites, is maintained by English Heritage.

The main purpose of this register is to help ensure that features and qualities of national importance are safeguarded during ongoing management or if any change is being considered which could affect them.

Grading of registered parks and gardens

The sites included on the Register are divided into three grade bands to give added guidance on their significance. Most sites identified through the Register as being of a sufficiently high level of interest to merit a national designation are designated grade II. Some sites, however, are recognised as being of even higher value. Around thirty percent are considered to be of exceptional historic interest and are awarded a star giving them grade II* status. A further ten percent are of international importance, and are classified as grade I.

The register criteria

English Heritage registers only those sites that it considers to be of special historic interest. As a guide to the level of historic interest required to make a site 'special', nine criteria have been drawn up against which assessment and decisions whether to register a site are made. Their application, however, must be accompanied by expert and extensive knowledge of the country's historic parks and gardens as a whole, to ensure that decisions are consistent.

The criteria are based on the assumption that the older the surviving features of a site, the rarer that type of site is likely to be, although there are other factors for consideration. Thus, types of site likely to prove of sufficient historic interest to merit inclusion on the Register are as follows:

These criteria are not mutually exclusive categories and more than one of them may be relevant in the assessment of any particular site.

Why is a park or garden included on the register, and who makes the decision?

The decision as to whether a park or garden merits registration is based quite simply on an assessment by English Heritage as to whether it can be said to be of 'special historic interest'. Any site which English Heritage assesses and finds to meet this criterion is added to the national list.

As well as being of particular historic interest, registered sites might also be of note for other reasons such as their amenity value, or for nature conservation. Although not relevant to an assessment of the site in terms of the Register, such attributes need to be given consideration to ensure the sensitive management of the site.

What makes a park or garden of historic interest?

As a general rule, English Heritage considers all parks or gardens over thirty years old to be 'historic'. However just being over thirty years old does not, in itself, make a park or garden of special historic interest.

Whether or not a site merits national recognition through registration will depend primarily upon the age of its main layout and features, its rarity as an example of historic landscape design and the quality of the landscaping. For registration purposes, therefore, what makes a site of interest is the survival, quality, and interest of its historic structure. For a garden, the structure will usually include the basic pattern of its layout which might, for example, be formal with terraces, straight walks and hedges, formal pools and canals, or informal with winding paths through lawns, rockwork, and informally-planted trees and shrubberies. For a park it may include the historic boundaries and entrances, the routes of the approach drives and rides, the siting of the main buildings, the underlying landform, built features which provide structure and focal points in the design, lakes and rivers, and the planting of parkland trees, clumps, shelter belts, and woodland.

Spot registration

Spot registration is the 'fast track' means by which a site can be assessed for inclusion in the national list.

Registered parks and gardens in Calderdale

There are currently six entries in the Register for the Calderdale area. They are:

List of Registered Parks in Calderdale
SiteReference numberGrid referenceGradeDate registered
The People's ParkGD 1540SE 0823II*1 December 1984
Shibden HallGD 3293SE 1025II27 June 2000
West View ParkPG 3328SE 0624II7 March 2001
Shroggs ParkGD 3381SE 0826II4 October 2001
Lister Lane CemeteryGD 3530SE 085 252II18 March 2003
Stoney Royd CemeteryGD 3564SE 100 244II26 January 2004

The Reference Number is a national identifier issued by English Heritage. The Grid Reference will enable people to locate the park on a map.

Inspection of the register

The register can be inspected at Planning Services reception Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm.

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Last Updated: 15/12/2015