Raleigh bicycle HQ brings number of protected heritage sites to 400,000

The Howitt Building has received Grade II listed status (Historic England/PA)

The 1930s headquarters of bicycle manufacturer Raleigh have been given protected status, bringing the number of listed buildings and sites in England to 400,000.

The Howitt Building in Nottingham, which was built in 1931, has been listed at Grade II by the Government on the advice of its heritage agency Historic England.

Also newly added to the country’s official heritage list are the Art Deco terminal at Birmingham Airport, Plymouth’s Theatre Royal and a 200-year-old cottage in Shropshire which once housed animals and their owner under one roof.

The new additions take the total number of historic buildings, monuments, battlefields, shipwrecks, designed landscapes and World Heritage Sites which have received protection through listed status to 400,000.

Historic England chief executive Duncan Wilson said: “The list is a treasure trove of special historic places that demonstrates the rich variety of England’s history.

“Reaching 400,000 entries is a milestone – it confirms just how important our heritage is and how much deserves protecting for future generations.”

Culture Secretary Jeremy Wright said: “The National Heritage List for England tells the story of our past, and the people, places and events that shaped it.

“This landmark highlights the huge diversity of historic places that we have protected and the integral role heritage plays in our culture.”

The Raleigh Cycle Company was the world’s leading manufacturer of bicycles when the head office was built in 1931, and at its largest the company produced more than a million bicycles in a year across the 60-acre site.

The factory was also the focal point for a challenge to the racially selective employment policy of many of Nottingham’s large companies, and resulted in it becoming one of the city’s biggest employers of African-Caribbean workers.

Panels on the old Raleigh headquarters building show its role in bicycle manufacture Credit: Historic England/PA

The Howitt Building, which bears decorative panels showing cherubic children holding bicycle parts and using tools of the trade, is now home to offices and a community centre and ballroom both named after the Jamaican activist, poet and journalist Marcus Garvey.

The Marcus Garvey Centre provides support facilities for older members of Nottingham’s African-Caribbean community, and the Marcus Garvey Ballroom was reopened in 1981 as a music venue known as “the Garvey”.

The Art Deco Elmdon terminal at Birmingham Airport, a 1930s “Moderne style” terminal and a reminder of an era when aviation was at its most glamorous, has been listed at Grade II.

It was the original terminal building when the airport opened in 1939, housing a public bar, tea lounge and restaurant, and features concrete “wings” which provide cover to passengers below and balconies for viewing flights.

The Theatre Royal in Plymouth has been listed at Grade II Credit: Historic England/PA

Plymouth’s Theatre Royal, a “sophisticated example” of 20th century design with distinctive geometric forms which was completed in 1982, has also been listed at Grade II.

It was commissioned by Plymouth City Council as a venue that could cater for both large and small productions within a single auditorium, and features a movable auditorium roof that can be lowered to conceal the upper seating.

And a smallholder or squatter’s cottage and nearby barn at Cleeton St Mary, Shropshire, which was built in the late 18th or early 19th century has been listed at Grade II.

A squatter’s cottage which is an increasingly rare example of a once-common rural home Credit: Historic England/PA

Historic England said the rubble stone building was an “increasingly rare representation” of a very simple form of home which was once common in rural areas.

It was likely to have been built by a smallholder who came to the area to graze livestock on moorland and quarry coal and stone, and an animal shelter was built on to the original structure so that it would have housed livestock alongside the owner.