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A skater conquers one of the pools at The RomThe Rom

East London's Rom skatepark becomes national heritage site

Another victory for skaters as the 70s park in Hornchurch is given listed status

Just over a month after the Southbank skate park was saved from demolition, British skate culture has been given another massive boost in the form of its first ever national heritage site. The 8,000 square metre Rom skatepark in Hornchurch, East London has been given Grade II listed status, preserving its existence and protecting it for future generations. 

Built in 1978 by Adrian Rolt and G-Force, the skatepark is the first in Europe to be listed and only the second in the world (Tampa's iconic Bro Bowl enjoys similar protection). Most UK skateparks built during the 70s have been destroyed, but the Department for Culture, Media and Sport has declared the preservation of the Rom vital under the recommendation of minister Ed Vaizey. 

"The Rom is the finest example in England of this aspect of youth culture," English Heritage designation director Roger Bowdler told the Guardian. "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 was modelled on Californian skateparks and its continued popularity serves as a reminder that skateboarding is a culture all of its own. Sports historian Simon Inglis outlined why skating proved such a revolutionary addition to Britain's youth culture. 

"The skatepark revolution signified a switch in how young boys, particularly, expressed themselves through sport,” he said. "Previously it was all about knuckling down for team and physical contact sports but a skateboard allowed you to be creative and expressive as an individual, balletic even."

If you want to go and skate at this iconic site, head here to check out The Rom's opening times and prices. Check out legendary skateboarders Lance Mountain, Curren Caples and Greyson Fletcher at The Rom below: