Monty Python and a Tudor playhouse in 2019 listings

The London location where the famous Monty Python "Mr Creosote" sketch was filmed is one of the more surprising among Historic England’s 2019 choices for listing.

In 1982 the Monty Python team chose the Porchester Centre in Bayswater as a location for the film The Meaning of Life. The centre is an unusually elaborate civic building of the 1920s the survives with little alteration, in which the Turkish bath complex (pictured) that featured in the sketch is now exceptionally rare.

More than 500 historic places have been placed on the National Heritage List for England this year, and also include a vertical spinning tunnel used to test aerodynamics, two 19th century shipwrecks off the Norfolk coast, and a house with recently discovered 16th century wall paintings.

The Curtain, built in Shoreditch in about 1577, where Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet was staged during the playwright’s lifetime, has been scheduled an ancient monument by Historic England. Archaeologists have unearthed parts of the stage, the wings, galleries and yards were found along with 17th century structures showing the later use of the site as tenement housing. The historic remains are being preserved in situ and will be visible as part of a new exhibition and performance space.

A Lowestoft, Suffolk, pharmacy, Purpose built for “Chemist and Druggist” Robert Morris in 1851, and still in use until 2012, is a rare survival of a mid-Victorian former chemist shop is a rare survival. Lettering in the window says the ‘Family dispensing chemist’ business was established in 1817, even earlier than the current building. It is listed Grade II.

Upgraded to Grade II* is the vertical spinning tunnel at the Royal Aircraft Establishment’s former laboratory complex at Milton Ernest, Bedfordshire. Built between 1948 and 1955, it was used to investigate aerodynamics and flight systems.

Liverpool’s “Bucket Fountain”, more formally the Piazza Fountain in Bethan Plaza, has been given Grade II listing. Made in the late 1960s by the designer Richard Huws is the only surviving example of his water sculptures.

Two wrecks were added to the list in 2019. The paddle steamer Seagull, steamer built in 1848, is a rare example of a sail assisted paddle steamer, which sank in a collision in 1868 while carrying raw cotton from Hull to Rotterdam, sinking off Hornsey Gap, Norfolk. Xanthe was a sail-assisted steam-powered cargo ship built in Hull in 1862 and used to trade coal and ore between the Tyne and Spain. It sank in a collision in 1869 off Horsey Gap, near Great Yarmouth, and it lies upright and remarkably intact on the sea floor. Both were scheduled.

And in Regent’s Park in London the Nursemaids’ Tunnel, built in 1821, is one of the capital’s earliest surviving pedestrian tunnels. It took pedestrians from the park safely under the dangerous Marylebone Road, and it has been listed Grade II.

“A fascinating range of historic buildings and sites are added to the List each year, and 2019 is no exception” said Duncan Wilson, Historic England’s chief executive, said. “By celebrating the extraordinary historic places which surround us, above and below ground, we hope to inspire in people a greater interest in our shared heritage, and a commitment to pass it on.”

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