A purpose-built skateboarding park has made history by becoming the first in Europe to be given protected status usually reserved for stately homes.
Since it opened in 1978, Rom Skatepark has seen thousands of skinned knees, and has now been granted Grade II-listed status, ensuring it will be open for years to come – and will see thousands more scrapes.
The Department for Culture, Media and Sport granted the skatepark, in Hornchurch, east London, protective status on the advice of English heritage – and is only the second specially protected park in the world.
The park was built by Adrian Rolt and G-Force, leading skatepark designers at the time, who created an intricate system of drops, ramps and jumps, which are still popular today with skaters, BMX-ers and people on scooters.
Heritage Minister Ed Vaizey said: “The Rom was built in the late seventies for the very first skateboarders and is as popular now as it was then.
“Its listing at Grade II is testament to its design and also highlights how the UK’s unique heritage reflects all parts of our culture and history.
“I hope the protection provided by this listing ensures the pool, moguls and snake run can be enjoyed for years to come.”
English Heritage Designation Director Roger Bowdler added: “Skateboarding is more than a sport – it has become a world-wide cult.
“The Rom is the finest example in England of this aspect of youth culture, and we are delighted its special interest will be protected for future generations through listing.
“It gives the whole idea of heritage an extra twist.”
The park is made up of seamless pressurised concrete, with oval and kidney-shaped pools, ramps and steps.
The only other skatepark in the world which has listed status is the Bro Bowl in Tampa, Florida.