It’s been a whole year since the Local Heritage List was launched, and in that time we have achieved so much for the protection of heritage in South Yorkshire!  We’ve managed to get council approval for the list in all 4 Local Authorities of Barnsley, Rotherham and Sheffield and Doncaster very close to completing this process. We’ve also had over 250 nominations from across the region, of which 56, so far, have been formally listed with the rest ready to be assessed or approved by the four councils, so thank you for all of your nominations, they’ve been amazing! The other good news is that the planning departments in all four councils are now looking at how they can increase the protection for locally listed assets, which will make the list even more important for heritage protection.

Summer is an exciting time for everybody, with the prospect of good weather and holidays on the horizon, but for the Local Heritage List it has been particularly positive as we have been able to add our first new locally listed assets! Well done and a big thank you to everyone who has nominated, contributed and commented, we hope you’re all as pleased as we are!

Our newly listed assets come from Barnsley and Sheffield and will be the first of many from across South Yorkshire as we are getting close to formal adoption in Rotherham and Doncaster too.

Over the last 8 months, the South Yorkshire Local Heritage List has had some really interesting nominations come in. It’s worth registering as a user on the site, if you haven’t already, so you can have a look them all! Although the majority are buildings, we’ve also had quite a few archaeological sites, commemorative monuments and parks, gardens & designed landscapes nominated as well, so there’s a great cross section of the heritage of South Yorkshire represented already. Despite this, there are still lots of places left to nominate and there’s no limit to the number we can have on the local list!

To give you a taster of a group of assets that has emerged from the nominations we have received recently, this blog focuses on Carnegie Libraries. These buildings can be found across the region and although they are connected by the circumstances of their construction, they represent the variation that can be found in a single category of public buildings.  

The two most important aims of the South Yorkshire Local Heritage List are that nominations can be made by anyone and everyone and that by being on the list, these places can be protected as part of the local authority’s Planning System.

Since our launch in September, the most visible of these aims has definitely been the public nomination of heritage assets, not only have we received lots of brilliant nominations, we’ve also been out talking to people all over the region, trying to make sure everybody knows about the local heritage list. However, like the proverbial swan, there has been plenty of activity below the surface on trying to achieve the second aim, to have the list recognised as part of the Planning system. To do this the Councils of Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield need to formally adopt the Local Heritage List, both as a way of registering important heritage assets and as an approved list of the assets themselves.

Over the past 5 months the Local Heritage List has received some amazing nominations from all over South Yorkshire. There have been all sorts of places, from furnaces to water troughs, churches to fields with ridge and furrow marks, shops, houses, farms and much more! Every one has been different and each gives us that little bit more valuable information on how the region developed and grew into the places we all know so well.

Like the places they refer to, the nomination forms themselves have also been interesting to read, some are very detailed, others quite succinct and they include a variety of photographs, plans, newspaper cuttings and old engravings and paintings. It’s been amazing to see what sort of research has been done and the information that has been found from so many sources (even without the archives in Doncaster!). It’s been especially interesting to see how each nomination fits in with the assessment criteria and many have included surprising facts about how assets meet unexpected criteria, who would have thought an old cinema would have archaeological value!?

By far the best nominations are the ones that have been able to illustrate clearly how the asset meets all, or nearly all, the criteria, as these show a really well-rounded picture of the character of the asset and why it is so important to the local area. Here is a selection of some of our favourites, so far, from the brilliant nominations we have received.