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Each of the above character assessments provides valuable information about the landscape in the study area. However, they do not reflect subtle changes in character at a local level and in particular, changes which are relevant to the Battle of Bosworth, visitor appreciation and special qualities. The local character assessment undertaken as part of the CP and detailed below subdivides the Hinckley and Bosworth character assessment and reflects changes in character at a local level. The Hinckley and Bosworth Borough assessment and local character areas defined as part of this study can be found on Drawing No 3.
Countryside Commission National Character Areas Leicester County Council (2001) Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland Landscape and Woodland Strategy Hinckley and Bosworth Council (2006) Landscape Character Assessment Landscape Character Areas 5.3 The local landscape character areas are geographically specific and unique, and help reflect local distinctiveness and identity within the study area. For example, they help explain why the area around Shenton feels different from that around Dadlington. Defining character areas requires an understanding of subtle changes in topography, vegetation cover and patterns as well as settlement pattern, access and associations. Having an understanding of character can help to explain the Battle of Bosworth, but also highlight sensitivities relating to the landscape and how different areas may require particular management.
SHENTON PARKLANDThis landscape falls predominantly within the Fenn Lanes character area of the Hinckley and Bosworth Character Assessment and extends slightly into the Market Bosworth character area.
• Relatively low lying landscape rising gently in the west
• Designed parkland landscape including lime avenue, drive, house and tree clumps as well as infield veteran trees
• Confluence of Sence Brook and Tweed River
• Well treed landscape with woodland copses and belts giving rise to enclosed and sheltered character
• Land use is predominately pasture (livestock farming and horses)
• Field ponds often associated with groups of trees are a feature
• Focus on Shenton Estate including estate village and home farm (Whitemoors Farm)
• Distinctive vernacular architecture
• Limited isolated farms
• Recreation points of interest include Richard's Field, Shenton Station, Battlefield Line, section of disused railway, section of canal and tow path, Sustrans cycle route 52, woodlands used for shooting
• Present day features thought to be contemporary with the Battle include Shenton Village, Mill Lane, watercourses
• Area contains a high concentration of battle related finds and notable areas of ridge and furrow
• Car parking on verges (Richard's Field, Shenton Station and adjacent to canal)
• Pony paddocks and associated features such as post and rail fencing, jumps etc.
• Narrow lanes and bridges affecting safety on roads for different users (cars, bikes and walkers)
• Loss of parkland character due to past ploughing
• Veteran trees show signs of entrenchment and reduced canopy
• Battlefield signage and points of interest (Richard's field, Whitemoors car park) are now out of date following new research
• Planting of mixed woodland copses (including conifers) for shooting
• Little is known of the parkland features extant in the landscape today
AMBION AND SUTTON CHENEY FARMLAND/HILLS
• Open exposed intensively farmed arable landscape
• Elevated, gently rolling landform affording views across open countryside
• Occasional woodland blocks are visually strong in an otherwise arable landscape e.g.
Ambion Wood and Hangman's Wood
• Strong rectilinear enclosure pattern with few hedgerow trees - hedges are well trimmed reflecting late Parliamentary enclosure
• Wide grass verges along roads
• Natural springs on steeper slopes e.g. Ambion Hill/King Dick’s Well
• Historic hilltop villages e.g. Sutton Cheney and Ambion (DMV)
• Concentration of archaeology on hilltops including barrows, DMV, Roman temple site
• Sutton Cheney Church is a local landmark and internationally known.
• Pattern of isolated farmsteads reflecting period of settlement dispersal in 19th century
• Recreation points of interest include Bosworth Battlefield Heritage Centre, King Dick’s Well, Leicestershire Round long distance path
• Present day features thought to be contemporary with the Battle include Ambion Deserted Medieval Village (last known record 100 years prior to the Battle), Sutton Cheney village and church Special Qualities The rolling and elevated topography typical of this landscape along with the intensive arable farming and well-trimmed hedgerows with few trees give the area its defining character.
Views are often open and of long distance. This landscape has historic interest associated with its hilltops including Scheduled Monuments (Ambion DMV and bowl barrow at Sutton Cheney), and site of Roman temple and associated hoard of brooches.
Sutton Cheney Sutton Cheney is a Conservation Area and comprises an ensemble of small cottages built of mellow reddish brick straddling Main Street. The focus of the village is the church of St James. Brick walls, trees, country views and farmyards define the character of the village.
The village, as an architectural group, is of value in its entirety having retained many interesting vernacular details. Important buildings other than the church include six sandstone Alms Houses built in 1612 by Sir William Roberts, a Jacobean mansion dated 1601 and two coaching inns.
• Loss of veteran field oaks
• Damage of ridge and furrow due to tree planting and future felling activity
• Lack of woodland management resulting in reduced age structure and health and safety issues where there is public access
• Intensity of arable agriculture and limited wildlife interest
• Car park and tent structures on Ambion Parva are widely visible from the surrounding landscape to the north and east
• Felling of trees in Ambion Wood may make development at the Heritage Centre more visible in the future
REDEMORE PLAINThis landscape falls within the Fenn Lanes and Stoke Golding character areas of the Hinckley and Bosworth Character Assessment.
• Open, flattish, low lying farmland
• Regular field enclosure patterns defined by hedges with few hedgerow trees
• Views may be medium/long distance but due to the relatively flat topography are often blocked by tall hedgerows, subtle change in topography (i.e. ridge on which Apple Orchard Farm is located) and the disused railway embankment
• Linear transport corridors pass through the area including Fenn Lane (Roman road), disused railway and canal
• Mixed farming resulting in patchwork of arable and pasture
• Area drained by series of small streams/brooks which have been deepened and straightened
• Past areas of wetland and some areas still prone to poor drainage
• Fragmented areas of species rich meadow (SSSI) and undesignated pasture
• Ashby Canal is a Conservation Area and valued as a ecological and recreational resource
• Limited farmsteads reflecting very late dispersal of settlement onto this lower lying area
• Recreation points of interest include Stoke Golding Airfield, section of canal and tow path, Sustrans cycle route 52, Sutton Cheney Wharf
• Present day features thought to be contemporary with the Battle include Fenn Lane, Mill Lane, watercourses, Apple Orchard Farm
• Area contains a high concentration of battle related finds Special Qualities The flat open character of this landscape is a quality which distinguishes the area from the more elevated surrounding landscape. The repetitive pattern of watercourses and remnant areas of meadow and wet pasture are memorable features of this landscape.
• The busy nature of Fenn Lane and high speed of traffic
• Multiple ownership of disused railway and physical fragmentation due to loss of bridges and land use
• Embankment and vegetation along disused railway blocks views
• Loss of wetland meadow/marsh due to drainage - remnant sites are fragmented/isolated
• Area targeted by night hawkers resulting in issues of trespass and creation of holes presenting possible threat to Stoke Golding Airfield operations
• Atypical conifer planting around farms can be visually prominent
• Difficulties in accessing the Battlefield area (physically but also intellectually) because the landscape is privately owned and has changed so radically as a result of enclosure
• Sensitivity of area to minor changes which block views including vegetation growth, earthworks and new development
• Development of new large scale farm buildings
DADLINGTON AND STOKE GOLDING HILLSThis landscape falls within the Stoke Golding character area of the Hinckley and Bosworth Character Assessment.
This landscape comprises gently undulating settled hills which afford views over lower lying land to the north and west.
• Gently undulating hills - appear prominent from lower lying areas to the west and north
• Small scale field pattern defined by hedgerows and significant numbers of hedgerow trees many of which are veteran trees
• Evolution of the landscape reflects early and piecemeal enclosure
• Significant views across to the north and west from edge of hills, including across Redemore Plain
• Hilltop villages of Dadlington and Stoke Golding (the latter is a Conservation Area)
• Churches act as local landmarks in the landscape
• Dispersed pattern of farms reflecting 19th century dispersal of settlement
• Significant earthworks north of Dadlington Chapel
• Recreational points of interest include Crown Hill, part of the Ashby Canal, Ambion Way long distance footpath
• Present day features thought to be contemporary with the Battle include Stoke Golding village and church, Dadlington village and church, Fenn Lane, Dadlington Lane
• Dadlington Church is the resting place and contemporary commemorative church for those who died on Bosworth Field
• Stoke Golding Church was allegedly a place where people watched the Battle take place Special Qualities The special qualities of this landscape relate to the views afforded to the north and west across the Redemore Plain and the historic nature of the settlement, the landmark churches and strong historical associations with the Battle of Bosworth.
The character of the Stoke Golding Conservation Area is primarily derived from the agricultural origins of the settlement. This can be identified through a number of former farmhouses and farm buildings within the area, strong visual links to the countryside and several very important green or hard surfaced spaces. The ancient street pattern with its unique twists and turns has added a further layer of local distinctiveness to the Area. The mixture of loose fit residential properties, punctuated by larger commercial or public buildings, of which the Parish Church, Park House, the Baxter Hall and former Halls hosiery factory are important examples, is characteristic of the village.
Fieldwork undertaken as part of the preparation of this CP has identified a number of key viewpoints from publicly accessible land, which are illustrated on Drawing No 4.
The identification of these views and an analysis of their historic significance is consistent with recent guidance provided by English Heritage.25 The value of this approach in identifying key views helps to provide a consistent baseline for assessing the potential impact of future change/development on heritage significance within views.
It should be noted that the views illustrated are not exhaustive. They reflect key views from existing public locations only identified during site assessment. In future, changes in the landscape, such as the removal of woodland or creation of new access, may result in new views that are of particular value.
It is noted that the disused railway (currently in private ownership with the exception of a length around Shenton Station) cuts through the Registered Battlefield on embankment and represents a significant potential resource for providing carefully managed elevated views over the Battlefield. In addition the assessment has revealed that currently there are no public viewpoints from Crown Hill, Stoke Golding - views from this area are likely to be of high quality and of high significance.
For each view there is a description of the historic interest in, and the context of the view which can be used to promote appreciation and understanding of heritage significance.
Nature of views Of the eight viewpoints, three fall within the existing Registered Battlefield (viewpoints 1, 3 and 4), two fall within the proposed extension to the Registered Battlefield (viewpoints 6 and 7) and three lie outside of the Registered Battlefield (viewpoints 2, 5 and 8).
English Heritage, 2011, Seeing the History in the View: A method for assessing heritage significance within views.
Factors affecting views A number of factors have been noted as affecting views across the Battlefield examples are noted in the list below.
Many of these elements will have been implemented by landowners, farmers and other parties as a result of sound land management decisions or past industrial developments. There is no implied criticism other than to raise these in the context of the range of factors to be considered in the future. Any significant changes will need to be agreed with stakeholders, local communities and the local planning authority.
• The growth of hedgerows and woodland copses which obscure and or foreshorten views