Sevenoaks High Street Conservation Area includes the historic focus of the town, pivoting on the central fountain and runs south along the upper High Street, north west towards London and north to incorporate the High Street. It contains the parish church of St. Nicholas, most of the original buildings belonging to Sevenoaks School and borders the historic estate of Knole. The High Street Conservation Area also includes the majority of the southern end of London Road and the series of narrow pedestrian links through the Shambles to the High Street.
The area was first designated in 1971 and reviewed in 1992 and 2008. It contains over one hundred listed buildings located in 20 hectares. Most of the properties that front the High Street and London Road are commercial premises but there are a significant number of residential properties beyond the shops and offices, particularly at the southern end of the area and in Lime Tree Walk to the west of London Road.
To the east the area is bounded by Green Belt and to the south east there is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Blighs Meadow is on the northern boundary and some areas behind the western side of the High Street fall within it. The town centre was designated a Conservation Area because of the historic importance of so many of its buildings, the sense of enclosure generated by the High Street and London Road, together with the attractive sense of human scale of the area and the visual and historic importance of the southern approach to Sevenoaks. This approach leads from the countryside into the early historic heart of the town and in contrast to the more heavily trafficked northern approach, gives an immediate perception of the historic scale and sense of place within the town centre. With views over Knole Park to the east the southern approach leads directly into the earliest market place, Burlington’s dramatic almshouses and the Sevenoaks School group of buildings.
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