A weather-boarded aisled barn about 44m long and 11m wide. There is a gabled entrance in the centre of the north side. The thatched and half-hipped roof is of crown post construction with reversed assembly in the aisles.
Upminster Tithe Barn, Hall Lane, Upminster, Havering, Greater London. © Historic England Archive. DP434468 Visit the list entry for the Upminster Tithe Barn.
Upminster Tithe Barn, Hall Lane, Upminster, Havering, Greater London. © Historic England Archive. DP434468 Visit the list entry for the Upminster Tithe Barn.

Heritage at Risk in London Revealed

Historic England has today revealed its Heritage at Risk Register 2023. The Register gives an annual snapshot of the health of England’s valued historic buildings and places. 

Highlights from sites saved in 2023

41 sites have been saved and their futures secured with the help and commitment of local people, communities, charities, owners and funders including The National Lottery Heritage Fund. Historic England’s expert advice, grant aid and creative thinking has also been key in delivering people’s visions for how these historic places can be used again. 

Saved: Former Royal London Hospital

This 18th-century hospital building facing Whitechapel Road opened in 1757. The grade II listed building was once a bustling facility where generations of east Londoners were born and cared for.

Despite being one of London’s most important structures it had been closed since 2014 and was falling into disrepair. It was added to the Heritage at Risk Register in 2012.

Now, thanks to a £125 million transformation the building has reopened as Tower Hamlets Town Hall to serve the public once again.

Saved: Upminster Windmill

Built in 1803, Upminster Windmill is one of the finest remaining smock mills in the country and has a rich history.

In 2016, a restoration project began to bring the mill back to working order, saving it from collapse.

The Friends of Upminster Windmill, in conjunction with the Local Authority, were awarded a grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund to fully restore the mill, and add a workshop and visitors' centre on the site. Restoration works are now complete and the windmill is once again in working order.

Saved: Electricity Substation

This Victorian electricity substation on Sunnyside Passage in Wimbledon was one of the first transformers to be installed in Wimbledon and distributed power to the local area.

It was added to the Heritage at Risk Register in 2015 due to rusting and graffiti on the outside of the substation.

The structure has now been fully refurbished, thanks to funding from UK Power Networks with support from Merton Council, Heritage of London Trust and The Wimbledon Society.

Highlights from sites added to the Register

Over the past year, 10 historic buildings and sites have been added to the Register in London because they are at risk of neglect, decay or inappropriate development. 

At Risk: Upminster Tithe Barn

Upminster Tithe Barn was built in the mid-15th century for Waltham Abbey, at a time when Upminster was open countryside, and was the grange barn for Upminster Hall.

Now in the London suburbs at Upminster, the fascinating barn remains relatively unchanged. Tree-ring dating indicates a likely date range of AD 1423-1440 for the felling of the trees which create the frame of the barn.

The barn is being added to the list as the thatched roof is in a poor state and needs urgent work. Havering Borough Council are committed to preserving the building.

At Risk: Church of St George in the East

The Church of St George in the East was designed in an idiosyncratic style by architect Nicholas Hawksmoor and completed in 1729. Of the six he built in London, this is one of three located within the borough of Tower Hamlets.

The interior was gutted during World War Two with only the landmark tower and walls of the church surviving. In 1964 a new church was built within the walls and flats were created above the aisles, giving the church a new use.

Its roofs which are now leaking into the chancel and the aisles, and the exposed walls are deteriorating due to water penetration. The church is seeking funding for a full repair and development project which will improve access and facility for the local community.

Headline Statistics in London

The Heritage at Risk Register 2023 reveals that in London:   

  • 392 Buildings or Structures (Grade I and II* listed buildings and structural scheduled monuments across England, plus Grade II listed buildings in London) 
  • 98 places of worship 
  • 25 Archaeology entries 
  • 13 parks and gardens   
  • 71 conservation areas   

…are at risk of neglect, decay or inappropriate change.

In total, there are 599 entries across London on the 2023 Heritage at Risk Register.