Marion Barter



Marion Barter BA, MA Cons Studies, IHBC

I am a historic buildings advisor, based in Glossop, Derbyshire. I work mainly in the North West, Yorkshire and Derbyshire. After 20 years in public sector conservation, I have spent the last 15 years as a heritage consultant. I specialise in providing written reports and advice to clients about historic buildings and places, particularly to explain heritage significance and identify options for change.

Previously I was a Director at The Architectural History Practice, a Historic Buildings Inspector at English Heritage (North West England), a Conservation Officer at Sheffield City Council, a Fieldworker on the National Listing Resurvey in Wiltshire; I began my career as an archaeologist.

I now have over thirty years of experience in heritage conservation and historic buildings advice, with particular expertise in the assessment and analysis of buildings and historic places of all dates.

I am committed to providing clients with independent and impartial advice, to support the viable future of historic buildings, based on a good understanding of what is important. I work collaboratively with other professionals including architects, archaeologists, collections and interiors consultants, landscape architects and planners.

I have experience in heritage-related training. I am currently a tutor on the RIBA Conservation Course for architects, and contribute to Historic England courses.

I have served on Diocese Advisory Committees for Sheffield and Manchester and on the Fabric Advisory Committee for Carlisle Cathedral. I am a full member of the IHBC - a member of the North West Branch Committee and the national Membership & Ethics Committee.

I contributed to the historic buildings section to the North West Research Framework, led by the University of Salford, due to be available online in 2020.


I provide advice on why historic buildings and places are significant, in the form of written reports known as statements of heritage significance or conservation plans.

These documents are used to inform asset management and proposals for changes to historic buildings and places. The earlier in the development process that heritage assets are understood the better, so it is good practice to commission a report before a design or proposal is developed.

Once a scheme is designed, an assessment of heritage impact is usually also required to comply with the planning or LBC process.

All types of historic buildings are covered including churches and chapels, private houses, municipal buildings, mills, warehouses and industrial buildings, country estate buildings and farms.

To provide robust advice entails researching the history of the site and the buildings, and a site assessment. Understanding the setting and the wider context is also important.

Advice provided:


Textile mills are almost all redundant for their original purpose; once in poor condition, their vast scale makes them challenging to save and convert for viable new uses. Around 40% have been lost since the 1980s in Greater Manchester. I have recently researched and advised on Spotland Bridge Mill, in Rochdale, a steam-powered mill first built in the 1830s, with a later warehouse.
Dunham Massey was rebuilt in the 1730s with new services and stables. Assessment projects for the National Trust (with Matrix Archaeology) include the stable yard and farm at Tatton, the timber yard at Lyme Park and at Dunham Massey all of the hall, the stables and many farmsteads.
I provide heritage statements for farmhouses and farm buildings, usually listed or in national parks. The advice is used to inform proposals to refurbish historic houses and convert redundant farm buildings to new uses.
I advise on historic churches, chapels and meeting houses, providing reports on significance to help faith groups manage their buildings or agree changes. I also advise on changes to redundant worship buildings, such as Ellel Grange Church (photo above). I can advise on the significance of interiors and pews, to inform options for re-ordering and alterations.
I am a tutor on the RIBA Conservation Course for architects, led by Janie Price of Kennedy O’Callaghan Architects. The course is a first step towards conservation accreditation for architects (AABC or RIBA). I provide an introduction to researching and analysing historic buildings and heritage significance. I also contribute to other training events on compiling statements of heritage significance for secular and religious buildings.
Historic houses are valuable assets for their owners, and many are listed buildings. I advise private owners and their architects, particularly in advance of refurbishment and alteration projects. I provide reports to inform the client about their house, and for use in support of LBC applications.


Derbyshire, UK

01457 861374