Heritage at Risk
One such story is the campaign to save Wilton's Music Hall, which started in the 1960s when the building faced demolition. Sir John Betjeman and Spike Milligan are just two of the well-known figures to have supported the campaign. Half a century later Wilton's has reopened to the public, thanks to the Wilton's Music Hall Trust and a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund. The Grade II* listed building has been removed from the Heritage at Risk Register this year.
Our successes also showcase some of London's best 20th century heritage. Poplar Baths in Tower Hamlets, for example, dates from 1932 with all the hallmarks of a grand Art Deco building. Twenty-eight years after the building closed, the baths have been lovingly restored and the doors are once again open to the local community.
This year we've invested considerably in some of London's most important public parks. The Grade II listed sphinxes in Crystal Palace Park have been carefully conserved, with a grant of £116,000 from Historic England. Their transformation included a coat of terracotta red paint, reinstating the original mid-19th century colouring. At Gunnersbury Park our funding is helping to conserve the 'Gothic' ruins and grotto. These are just two of many romantic follies in the Grade II* registered landscape, once home to the Rothschild family. Both of these parks are well on their way to being removed from the Heritage at Risk Register.
Additions to the Heritage at Risk Register
Despite these successes our historic environment in London is still vulnerable. A total of 45 entries have been added to the Heritage at Risk Register this year - from the tomb of a champion sculler in Brompton Cemetery, to a large Victorian church designed by George Gilbert Scott in Ealing. Most notable, however, is the addition of 11 conservation areas, reflecting the growing development pressures London continues to face.
Finding solutions to these sites is a priority for us in London. It will require the imagination and support of all our partners, including volunteers, local authority staff, private owners and commercial developers. The continued generosity of funding bodies, both big and small, will also be critical. We look forward to tackling these challenges in the year ahead.
Also of interest...
The Heritage at Risk Programme (HAR) helps us understand the overall state of England's historic sites.
Explore key trends revealed by our 2017 Heritage at Risk Register, including common types of sites at risk and the challenges they face.
London is on the cusp of huge change. Don't let it become a generic global city. Join our campaign to protect London's unique character and identity.