Heritage Values and the Assessment of Significance


Significance is now a core concept within our planning process.  Its assessment is a key part of management and of development within the historic environment.  This course will introduce the process, show you what is involved in preparing assessments of significance, teach you how to read and judge such assessments, and explore the ways in which they can be used.  At the end, you should be convinced about the value of significance as a planning and management tool!

Programme details

Wednesday 3 July 2024

9.15am Registration and coffee/tea

9.45am Introduction to the course

10.10am Thinking about heritage values

11.20am Coffee/tea break

11.40am Archaeology, heritage values, and significance – do built heritage and archaeology differ and, if so, why?

12.15pm Class exercise – establishing the scope of an assessment of significance (case study 1)

1.15pm Lunch

2.00pm Group working on case study - developing an assessment of significance and brief class discussion (same case study)

3.30pm Coffee/tea break

3.50pm Intro to 2nd case study and group working - developing an assessment of significance continuation (case study 2) 

5.30pm Discussion of issues from the first day

6.00pm End of Day 1

7.00pm Dinner

Thursday 4 July 2024

8.00am Breakfast (residents only)

9.00am Heritage statements, desk-based archaeological assessments, and their content

9.30am Understanding settings and views (including heritage in the view)

10.20am Site visit (settings and views) to Wellington Square

10.40am Coffee/tea break

11.00am Scoping built/cultural heritage and archaeological assets to be covered in assessments of significance within heritage statements and DBAs 

11.30am Assessing significance within the framework of the NPPF

11.50am Assessing significance for archaeological assets (case study 3)   

12.15pm Class exercise – assessing the contribution made by setting to significance (using case study 2)

12.45pm Introduction to group exercise critiquing heritage statement/DBS examples

1.00pm Lunch

1.45pm Group working - critique of some heritage statement and DBA examples

3.00pm Developed group working on case study 2, including settings, significance, key views etc (coffee/tea taken while working, available at 3.15pm) 

4.15pm Class exercise - using the assessment of significance to develop principles to guide and manage change within the historic environment

5.00pm Harm to significance – substantial/less than substantial harm in policy and case law

5.45pm End of Day 2

7.00pm Dinner

Friday 5 July 2024           

7.30am Breakfast (residents only)

8.15am Depart Rewley House for site visit to Bletchley Park

12.45pm Lunch

1.30pm Structured discussion on issues arising from site visit

2.00pm Assessing impacts on significance from proposed change (coffee/tea taken while working, available at 3pm)

3.30pm Discussion of outstanding issues from course

4.00pm End of course


Description Costs
Tuition (includes coffee/tea) £585.00
Accommodation: Single B&B (2 Nights Wed & Thurs) £202.80
Dinner Option Day 1 (3 courses) £26.00
Dinner Option Day 2 (3 courses) £26.00
Lunch Option Day 1 - Baguette £6.50
Lunch Option Day 1 - Hot (3 courses) £17.60
Lunch Option Day 2 - Baguette £6.50
Lunch Option Day 2 - Hot (3 courses) £17.60
Lunch Option Day 3 - Baguette £6.50
Lunch Option Day 3 - Hot (3 courses) £17.60


Payment of fees must be made in full at the time of booking. 

Please note that businesses and organisations can be invoiced on provision of a Purchase Order and completed application form. These can be emailed to the CWHE Programme Administrator, email: cwhe@conted.ox.ac.uk.


Dr Stephen Bond

Course Director

Stephen Bond runs heritage consultancy Heritage Places, providing advice relating to the historic environment and its conservation for national and local government, public sector funding bodies, property management, development and institutional clients, charitable trusts, and other professional advisors.  He is joint author of Managing Built Heritage – the role of cultural values and significance, the second edition of which was published by Wiley‐Blackwell in 2016.

Simon Cox

Course Co Director

Simon has accumulated over 30 years’ experience in British heritage and archaeological practice.  He began his professional career as a Bristol-based field archaeologist and later fieldwork manager, working mainly in the west of England, Wales and the Midlands. In 2007 he became Head of Fieldwork at Cotswold Archaeology in Cirencester, assuming strategic responsibility for the direction of the company’s field operations across four offices in the south of England. This role included responsibility for the quality assurance of the field team’s fieldwork and reporting. Simon established Bristol & Bath Heritage Consultancy Ltd (BBHC) in 2018.  BBHC undertakes a range of heritage and archaeological services for developers and other clients, including desk-based assessments, Heritage Statements, archaeological project management and historic building recording.

Mr Henry Russell

Course Co-Director

Lecturer in Conservation of the Historic Environment, Reading University. Henry Russell is a member of the Society for the Protection of Ancient Building’s casework committee, co-chair of the Heritage Alliance’s Spatial Planning Advocacy Group and a membership assessor for the Institute of Historic Building Conservation. He served on the Church of England’s Church Buildings Council and was Chair of Gloucester Diocesan Advisory Committee.

Selection criteria



There is only limited B&B accommodation now available for this course at Rewley House. Please contact us to check availability at:


email: cwhe@conted.ox.ac.uk.

All bedrooms are modern, comfortably furnished and each room has tea and coffee making facilities, Freeview television, and Free WiFi and private bath or shower rooms.