Shearsby Conservation Area Appraisal and Management Plan 2021

Ended on the 5 September 2021

6.0 Definition of Special Interest

6.1 Between 1972 and 1975 the UK was part of an architectural heritage initiative, which culminated in The European Architectural Heritage Year in 1975. It encouraged people to recognise the value of their local environment. Shearsby residents engaged in this initiative in the early 1970s, which contributed to designation of the conservation area.

6.2 Shearsby was designated as a conservation area in 1975. On 31 December the following year an article in the Leicester Advertiser stated that the appeal of Shearsby 'lies in an old-world charm signified by a smattering of thatched roofs and a let-the world-role-by atmosphere'. Such a description would not be out of place in 2021.

6.3 The development of Shearsby is intertwined with the farmland that surrounds it. This is evident in the relationship between the farms, fields and traditional housing and farm buildings. Vehicular access into the village is via country lanes lined with hedgerows. The relationship between the built environment of the settlement and the natural environment both within it and surrounding it are integral to its rural character.

6.4 Shearsby conforms to Natural England's description of rural villages in south Leicestershire whose settlement patterns formed in medieval times remain evident with 'separate villages clustered around a tall church spire' and having a long history of agricultural land use.[2] Shearsby is a good example of a medieval settlement plan within its countryside setting.

[2] Natural England, National Character Area Profile 94: Leicestershire Vales, (2014), p. 15.

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