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Bronze Age burial site in suburbia given heritage protection status

A Bronze Age burial site in suburban London, Victorian lamp-posts and Britain's oldest water chute ride are among the more unusual heritage protected this year.

More than 1,000 places have been given protected status across England in 2016, and government body Historic England has released details of 21 of the most surprising and lesser known sites which are now on the heritage list.

They include rock-carvings by conscientious objectors, a newly exposed shipwreck, a rare "clapper" bridge, gunboat sheds linked to the Crimean War and 18th century artificial bee hives.

Roger Bowdler, director of listing at Historic England, said: "Over 1,000 places have been added to the list in 2016, ensuring the most important sites across the country are recognised and protected.

"Historic England strives to keep the list rich and relevant so that the best of our, often weird and wonderful, heritage can continue to be enjoyed and understood for future generations."

He said the 21 sites and structures on the organisation's highlights list aimed to draw attention to some of the lesser-known heritage protected this year but which all play a role in telling people about England's history.

They range from the ancient, such as the Bronze Age funerary barrow in Shooters Hill, south-east London, which is about 82ft (25m) wide and 5ft (1.5m) high, to the 1970s concrete "Lego Building" at the University of Reading campus.

A series of elegant Victorian lamp-posts in Harrogate, North Yorkshire, designed in 1848, which were once gas lights and are now powered by electricity, also make it on to the list.

So too does the water chute at Wicksteed Park in Kettering, Northamptonshire, which was built in 1926 as part of a leisure park created by philanthropist Charles Wicksteed, who was a key figure in the development of children's play equipment.

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