Heritage by Design: How Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas Shape the Modern Townscape in Wandsworth, 1970-2000
However, these kinds of monuments only make up a small percentage of those considered to be part of England’s heritage. Looking at the urban streetscape, the conservation efforts of the London Borough of Wandsworth highlight a different aspect of heritage, away from tourism and the monumental. By maintaining listed buildings and town conservation areas, communities seek to preserve aspects of their unique history. The relative ordinariness of certain listed buildings in Wandsworth and its designation of conservation areas reflect an interest in local history that ties directly to the assets the community values and the role they play in the historical narrative of the area. The continuation of certain characteristics, like the facades of mid-eighteenth-century residential cottages, green spaces, or industrial hubs, promote an idea of heritage and Englishness that appeals to the sensibilities of its residents through a connection to the past.
And yet, all of these elements are a part of an ‘imagined community’ with tangible cultural artefacts, such as historic buildings, red telephone kiosks, and mile posts forming an identity. This shared experience shaped by the historic environment creates a sense of place for an ever-changing urban community.
School of Humanities
MA History of Design, 2015
- BA Art History, University of Minnesota, 2004