Historic England's Pride of Place project will recognise locations of LGBTQ value


Oscar Wilde's marital home and the grave of a prominent Egyptologist are among several sites given special status in recognition of what the Government's heritage agency called their "queer histories".

Historic England said it had listed, upgraded or updated listings for six locations across England which are of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) value.

Listings which have been updated to reflect LGBTQ heritage include West Yorkshire's Shibden Hall, the former home of Anne Lister, described as the "first modern lesbian", and the home playwright Wilde lived in with his wife at 34 Tite Street, in Kensington, London until his trial for gross indecency in 1895.

 Benjamin Britten(Laurence Harris/AP)

The site where Amelia Edwards, an Egyptologist and advocate for women's rights, is buried beside her long-term partner Ellen Braysher in St Mary's Churchyard, Bristol, has newly been granted Grade II-listed status.

Duncan Wilson, chief executive of Historic England, said: "Too often, the influence of men and women who helped build our nation has been ignored, underestimated or is simply unknown, because they belonged to minority groups. Our Pride of Place project is one step on the road to better understanding just what a diverse nation we are, and have been for many centuries.

"At a time when historic LGBTQ venues are under particular threat, this is an important step. The impact of the historic environment on England's culture must not be underestimated, and we must recognise all important influences."

Other sites that have been recognised include The Red House, in Aldeburgh, Suffolk, where composer Benjamin Britten lived with his partner, tenor Peter Pears, a London memorial which commemorates, among others, the 18th-century French transgender spy Chevalier d'Eon and the 1930s home of stockbroker Gerald Schlesinger and landscape architect Christopher Tunnard.

A map showing LGBTQ site of significance (Screengrab/Historic England)

Heritage minister Tracey Crouch said: "It's so important when we protect our heritage that we recognise all of the communities that have influenced and shaped our history."

The Pride of Place project has seen members of the public use an online map to pinpoint places of LGBTQ significance.

Professor Alison Oram, lead researcher at Leeds Beckett University, said: "Queer heritage is everywhere, and we hope that Pride of Place will lead to more historic places being publicly valued and protected for their important queer histories."