East Midlands Highlights
On this page:
- Heritage at Risk - the latest East Midlands picture
- Leicester war memorials listed
- Rare medieval shrine restored at Worksop Priory Gatehouse
- Apethorpe Palace: the ultimate country house rescue
- Help us uncover the East Midlands' hidden history
Heritage at Risk - the latest East Midlands picture
Historic England's Heritage at Risk Register provides an annual snapshot of the health of England's historic environment. In the East Midlands additions to this year's Register include one of the tallest windmills in England, Nottingham's historic subscription library, and a nationally important industrial complex.
Sites repaired and removed from the Register include St Mary's Freeby, Stydd Hall, which had been on the Heritage at Risk Register since it was launched in 1998, and the magnificent ruins of Crowland Abbey.
We will be featuring these and more sites here over the coming months. Below you can read about what has been achieved at Oakham Castle, Rutland, which is making very good progress towards being removed from the Register.
This year's register incorporates sites in North Lincolnshire and North East Lincolnshire which were previously included on the Yorkshire and Humber Register. Consequently there has been a significant increase in the number of entries on the East Midlands Register this year.
Across the region 25 sites have been removed from the Register and 37 sites have been added. Over the past year, Historic England has offered £1.3 million in grants to help 21 of the region's best loved and most important historic sites.
Oakham Castle revealed
Years of careful planning at Oakham Castle in Rutland are now reaping their reward.
The remains of the curtain walls, dating to the 13th century, had been damaged by vegetation growth and required extensive repairs and consolidation. This work commenced in 2015 and is now well on the way to completion.
Until recently it was almost lost from view, but now the castle and its historic significance as a seat of justice and administration can be fully appreciated.
The repairs are part of a wider programme of work by Rutland County Council, advised by us and grant-aided by the Heritage Lottery Fund.
Work to the Great Hall has provided improved visitor and community facilities. Now this historic site is set to become an important heritage destination and valued amenity for the town of Oakham, capital of England's smallest county.
Leicester war memorials listed
Three war memorials in the Leicester area have been listed recently.
- Aylestone, St Andrew's Churchyard
- Evington, corner of Main Street and Church Road
- Syston War Memorial Clock Tower, Central Park
These are among hundreds recently protected through Historic England's pledge to list 2,500 memorials by 2018, marking the centenary of the First World War.
Built by communities in the years following the conflict, these memorials are a poignant physical reminder of the sacrifices and loss the First World War brought about. One hundred years on, it is time to come together again to ensure our memorials are in good condition, and properly recognised by listing where appropriate.
How you can help
To fulfil our pledge to list 2,500 war memorials, we need you to put forward your local war memorial for listing.
Working with enthusiastic volunteers across the country, our programme is providing up to £2million in grants for war memorial repair and conservation. Volunteer workshops are available where you can learn how to record your local memorial and put it forward for listing.
We are helping communities discover, care for and conserve their local war memorials in partnership with War Memorials Trust, Civic Voice and the Imperial War Museums.
Our goal is to see that as many war memorials as possible are in a fitting condition for the centenary, and they remain cherished local landmarks for generations to come.
Rare medieval shrine restored at Worksop Priory Gatehouse
One of the finest medieval buildings on the East Midlands' Heritage at Risk Register is being restored to its former glory.
Worksop Priory was once one of Nottinghamshire's wealthiest monastic houses. The gatehouse is one of only two survivors of its kind in England: a walkthrough shrine. As at the other surviving example in Canterbury, pilgrims would enter one side, kneel to pray before an altar, and leave on the other.
The Augustinian church and gatehouse survived the 16th century Dissolution of the Monasteries. But by 1998 weather and decay were taking their toll, and the gatehouse and cloister wall were identified as buildings at risk.
Now repairs to shrine masonry and roof have been completed, the exquisite vaulted ceiling and the decoration (shown below before restoration) have been restored.
The rescue partners
The work was made possible by funding from Historic England and local authorities, and support to the Worksop Priory and Gatehouse Community Trust from the Prince's Regeneration Trust.
The shrine is now occasionally open so that we can all once more admire its intimate jewel-like interior.
Follow us on Twitter @HE_EastMids for updates to this and other projects we're funding.
Apethorpe Palace: the ultimate country house rescue
Apethorpe Palace is one of England's foremost country houses, with a strong royal pedigree. It was saved from decay between 2004 and 2014, and is now secure in the hands of a new owner. This rescue forms an important chapter in the long and illustrious history of the house, chronicled in a new book. Its publication marks the culmination of one of Historic England's most ambitious projects to date.
New book documents Apethorpe's history and rescue
Apethorpe: The story of an English country house is written by Historic England staff involved in the rescue. It reveals how the house grew and evolved as a home of courtiers, politicians and aristocrats from the mid-15th century, and how it became a favoured haunt of several English monarchs. In the second half of the 20th century the condition of the building deteriorated to such an extent that, in 1998, it was declared a Building at Risk.
Occasionally, when heritage of the highest national importance is under threat and there is no-one else to step in, Historic England is the only public body that can act to save it. Apethorpe has been just such a case.
The book presents what the authors discovered about the history, materials, layout and decoration of the house, to inform the ambitious programme of repair. The opportunity was even taken to find new ways to produce traditional Collyweston roofing stone, the extraction of which had virtually dried up.
Open to the public 50 days per year
The new owner of Apethorpe Palace is committed to the full restoration of the property. The house is open for pre-arranged tours on 50 days a year, and these can be booked through English Heritage, the charity now arranging access on our behalf.
The photograph below shows the roof timbers, exposed during repairs in 2007. It has been uploaded to the list entry for Apethorpe Palace by Paul Adams as part of Historic England's Enriching the List scheme.
Help us uncover the East Midlands' hidden history
Across the country Historic England is crowdsourcing knowledge and photographs for the official list of the nation's 400,000 most significant historic places. This is the first time in history the list has been opened up for public contributions and your chance to get involved!
Here in the East Midlands we are asking you to share your images and information to discover the hidden history of the East Midlands.
Some 99% of people in England live within a mile of a listed building or place and you can discover your nearest by searching the list using a postcode - with over 30,000 in the East Midlands there is bound to be one near you! By sharing your photos, old or new, and by telling the story of the people and events which have shaped the places we live in, you'll be part of a growing community of people getting involved in their local heritage.
You can see an example of a list description with a contribution on the entry for the memorial to Albert Ball at Nottingham Castle. He was Britain's most highly decorated fighter pilot and something of a national celebrity during the First World War. He died in a crash in 1917, aged 20, with 44 victories to his name.
Once you've added your contribution to a listing please do let us know. You can share your entries with us on Twitter @HE_EastMids where you can also keep up to date with all the latest news and pictures from the region.
East Midlands Local Office
2nd floor, Windsor House,