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 5 July

09.15 Registration and coffee/tea

09.45 Introduction

10.10 Definitions and Overarching Concepts

10.25 Does Heritage Matter?

11.15 Coffee/tea break

11.35 Does Heritage Matter? (continued)

11.50 Assessments of significance - why, what and how?

12.30 Class exercise - establishing the scope of an assessment of significance

13.15 Lunch

14.00 Group working on case study - developing an assessment of significance

15.30 Coffee/tea break

15.50 Group working on case study - developing an assessment of significance continuation

16.45 Public engagement issues relating to heritage assessments

17.30 Discussion of issues from the first day

18.00 Break

19.00 Dinner

Thursday 6 July

08.00 Breakfast (residents only)

09.00 Review of groups' assessments

09.30 Group exercise - critique of some heritage statement examples

11.00 Coffee/tea break

11.20 Resume of what has been learned

11.30 Key issues to be considered in preparing assessments of significance

12.40 Settings and views

13.15 Lunch

14.00 Group working on a case study involving the setting of a designated asset and key views

15.15 Coffee/tea break

15.45 Group working - using the assessment to develop principles to guide and manage change within the historic environment

17.00 Exercise and discussion on substantial harm

17.45 Break

19.00 Dinner             

Friday 7 July

07.45 Breakfast (residents only)          

08.30 Depart Rewley House for site visit to Bletchley Park

13.00 Lunch (back at Rewley House)

13.45 Structured discussion on issues arising from site visit

14.45 Coffee/tea break

15.10 Impact assessments

16.30 Discussion of outstanding issues from course

16.45 Course disperses


Description Costs
Tuition (includes coffee/tea) £540.00
Dinner Option Day 1 (3 courses) £24.30
Dinner Option Day 2 (3 courses) £24.30
Lunch Option Day 1 - Baguette £6.10
Lunch Option Day 1 - Hot (3 courses) £16.50
Lunch Option Day 2 - Baguette £6.10
Lunch Option Day 2 - Hot (3 courses) £16.50
Lunch Option Day 3 - Baguette £6.10
Lunch Option Day 3 - Hot (3 courses) £16.50


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.

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.


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.