Artillery Castle and associated Earthworks at Camber
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Artillery Castle and associated Earthworks at Camber © English Heritage
Artillery Castle and associated Earthworks at Camber © English Heritage

Heritage at Risk in the South East 2018

We were delighted to be able to remove 16 nationally important heritage assets from the South East Heritage at Risk Register in 2018. This would not have been possible without the support, commitment and enthusiasm of the historic site owners, local authorities, charities, businesses and volunteers who partner us in our work. By working together in 2018 we’ve secured the future of many important sites including medieval churches, Anglo Saxon barrows and a castle. All of these enrich the places in which we live.

On this page:

Places of worship

Thanks to the work of the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), we’ve been able to remove 12 historic churches from the register, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund Grants for Places of Worship Scheme.

The Parish church of St Nicholas in West Sussex is one of the places of worship to have benefitted from the HLF scheme and has been removed from the ‘at risk’ register this year. Repairs made to the East gable and windows have assured that this 13th century building’s legacy is preserved for future generations.

General view of church with shingled tower
General view of St Nicholas Church, West Sussex with shingled tower © Historic England DP220772

Ramsgate Heritage Action Zone

This past year we’ve continued our work supporting the Heritage Action Zone (HAZ) at Ramsgate. The HAZ initiative breathes new life into old places through working in partnership with the town council, local authority and community groups. It encourages a regenerative effect in these special places.

Ramsgate Heritage Action Zone will boost the economy of Ramsgate and capitalise on its rich maritime heritage and historic environment. Over the five years of the programme, a range of projects will be developed to research and interpret the story of Ramsgate. This has and will promote community engagement, increase tourism and re-introduce heritage skills.

Ramsgate Royal Harbour
Ramsgate Royal Harbour © Historic England

Celebrating 20 years of the Heritage at Risk Register

We’re also pleased this year to be celebrating 20 years of the Heritage at Risk Register. We can reveal that 142 buildings and structures (61%) that were listed on the South East’s baseline 1998 Register have been removed as their futures have been secured. Over the past 20 years we have used the Heritage at Risk Register to highlight places in need of care and attention. We have dedicated time, expertise and money to bring cherished places back into use and we are proud to have played our part in saving them from neglect.

See our top 20 heritage rescues

Artillery Castle and associated Earthworks at Camber
Artillery Castle and associated Earthworks at Camber has been removed from the Register © English Heritage

Heritage at Risk in 2018

Whilst there have been many successes, places continue to fall into disrepair and there’s still work to be done. There are over 480 fragile historic sites on our South East Register that are in need of solutions.

This year we’ve added 18 new entries, half of which are places of worship. The work of our local Heritage at Risk team, together with all our partners, is therefore crucial to address the needs of heritage at risk.

There are 484 entries on the South East register, 1 more than in 2017. 158 buildings and structures; 91 places of worship; 141 archaeology; 25 parks and gardens; 4 protected wreck sites; 65 conservation areas

Coastal defences

Some of the most significant challenges lie within the larger and more complex heritage sites that form our coastal defences in the South East. Some of these have been on the register for many years. In the South East, many are owned by the Ministry of Defence and their futures are not ensured. These buildings and structures will call for creative solutions and dynamic partnership working to improve their condition and realise their potential. We’ll continue to focus our efforts on making progress with these and other important sites in 2019.

We’re working together with the Historical Diving Society to investigate the current condition of the No2 Battery. No2 Battery is part of a system of ramparts, moats and batteries built in Gosport, Hampshire in the 1860s. We’re helping to establish the cost of the works needed to address the extensive problems of damp penetration and condensation affecting the building fabric. Our grant towards a survey is helping the diving museum to take the first step to secure the future of this site.

We’re working closely with another ex-MOD property. In Gosport we’re helping the new owners to repair and find a new use for the Former Guard House and the Police Station at Haslar Gunboat Yard. We’ve recently grant aided a conservation management plan and feasibility studies for both buildings to help to identify new uses.

Battery No. 2 Gosport
Battery No. 2 Gosport © Gosport Diving Museum

The Heritage at Risk programme

Our Heritage at Risk programme aims to identify, protect and manage the most vulnerable parts of our historic environment.

Find out more

To help focus attention and resources we publish a national Heritage at Risk Register each year. You can search our on-line database to find out what‘s at risk in the South East and who to contact about it.

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