New bid to save Harrogate’s historic street lamps

NADV 1406031AM1 Chairman of the Harrogate Civic Society Henry Pankhurst. (1406031AM1)
NADV 1406031AM1 Chairman of the Harrogate Civic Society Henry Pankhurst. (1406031AM1)

A last ditch bid has been made to save some of Harrogate’s historic lamp posts by giving them listed status.

Many of the town’s old gas lamps, which have stood since the 1850s, face being scrapped after they were branded a safety hazard by North Yorkshire County Council (NYCC).

The move prompted outrage from campaigners, with Harrogate Borough Council (HBC) finding £40,000 as a result to re-clad some of the most prominent ones.

Now, the Harrogate Civic Society has written to English Heritage to preserve a further 32 in Crown Place, outside the Crown Hotel and in Crescent Gardens.

“They are in the Conservation area and, in many cases on the siting of listed buildings,” said Henry Pankhurst, chairman of the Harrogate Civic Society. “Taking them away is the easy option. Gaining listed status would mean NYCC can’t destroy them. They would have to renovate them and keep them in situ.”

Mr Pankhurst has written to English Heritage, with members of the public, including historian Malcolm Neesam, backing the bid.

“These traditional lamp posts are part of the distinctive character of Harrogate and set us apart from other towns,” said council leader Richard Cooper, who has also written a letter of support. “There is no doubt that they are of special architectural and historical interest and by removing them all we would lose a little bit of our heritage.

“The Civic Society’s campaign should be commended as if they are successful it will ensure they can be enjoyed by generations of residents and visitors to come.”

Other towns have done this before and in fact there is one lone listed lamp post already in Harrogate, outside St John’s Church in Bilton, believed to have stood on the site since the church was built in 1857.