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Heritage risk register reveals a mixed picture

Words: Laura Edgar
Buckden Towers, Buckden, St Neots, Cambridgeshire / Historic England Archive

Historic England has announced that 181 historic buildings and sites have been removed from the Heritage at Risk register, but 216 sites have been added this year because of concerns about their condition.

The register highlights the health of England’s “most valued” historic places, including those at risk of being lost.

The 181 sites and buildings that have been removed from the register owing to work by communities, charities, owners, local authorities and Historic England include Kirby Bank Trod, North Yorkshire; Newington Green Meeting House, Hackney, London; Cadbury Castle, Somerset; and All Saints Church, Newcastle.

Duncan Wilson, chief executive at Historic England, said: “It is the varied tapestry of our historic places that helps us define who we are. In testing times such as these, heritage can give us a sense of continuity and bring us solace. We also know that investing in historic places can help boost our economic recovery. The 181 places rescued from the register this year show us that good progress is being made, but there is still a long way to go. Many more historic buildings and places need caring for, financial support, strong partnership working and community engagement to give them a brighter future.”

The Heritage at Risk Register 2020 shows 1,475 buildings or structures, 2,090 non-structural archaeological sites, 932 places of worship, 103 registered parks and gardens, 491 conservation areas, three battlefields and three protected wreck sites in England are at risk of neglect, decay or inappropriate change.

In total, there are 5,097 assets on the register in England, an increase of 24 more than the 2019 register amounted to.

The 216 endangered sites added this year include:

  • Dobson's Windmill, High Street, Burgh Le Marsh, Lincolnshire;
  • Buckden Towers, Buckden, St Neots, Cambridgeshire (pictured top);
  • Dudley Castle, Dudley, West Midlands;
  • Redoubt, Harwich, Essex;
  • St James’s Gardens (Cemetery), Liverpool;
  • Ragged School Museum, Tower Hamlets;
  • Madeira Terrace, Brighton, East Sussex; and
  • Plume Library, including Tower of Former Church of St Peter, Maldon, Essex.

During the past year, Historic England has offered £8.96 million in grants to help a range of the country’s historic sites.

Image credit | Historic England