Apartments next to Kelham Island Museum and Chimney House in Kelham Island, Sheffield.
Apartments on Kelham Island, Sheffield © Historic England
Apartments on Kelham Island, Sheffield © Historic England

Heritage at Risk in Yorkshire

Today (Thursday 17 October 2019) we published the Heritage at Risk Register 2019, our annual snapshot of the state of England’s most valued historic places.

The register draws attention to sites across England that are at risk of being lost. Whether neglected, decaying or threatened with inappropriate development, our Register raises awareness of the threats to vulnerable heritage. And it helps prioritise the actions needed to save these sites.

Heritage at Risk in 2019

  • There are 555 historic sites at risk across Yorkshire
  • This includes 13 new sites including Leeds’ Grand Quarter and various archaeological monuments, including a site known as Robin Hood’s Butts
  • 52 sites in Yorkshire have been saved and removed from the Register including a Sikh Gurdwara in a former mansion and Sheffield’s Kelham Island

Finding solutions to these sites has taken imagination, perseverance and expertise. Countless individuals and organisations will have worked together on their rescue. Along with volunteers, local authorities, charities, owners and developers, we also played our part.

Historic England offers advice and funding to the most vulnerable cases.

Saved and removed from this year's Register

Saved: Kelham Island Conservation Area, Sheffield

From the late 18th century, Kelham Island was a thriving industrial area with factories producing steel and cutlery for a world market. Industry declined in the 1980s and much of the area became derelict. Now, after years of hard work many historic buildings have been repaired and brought back into use. Today, the area is a vibrant site where characterful historic buildings sit comfortably alongside innovative new homes, offices and cafes.  

Saved: Potternewton Mansion, Leeds

Originally built in 1817 for the woollen merchant James Brown, this was bought by the Sikh community in 2006 to be used as a Gurdwara (place of worship). A grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund in 2012 meant the roof could be repaired and more recent funding has seen historic outbuildings brought back into use as a space to teach local children to learn to play traditional Sikh instruments.

Saved: St John of Beverley in Salton

This is a particularly complete Norman church, rebuilt after the earlier church was destroyed by fire. Keen eyed visitors can still spot pink stones, stained by the fire. Also rescued this year is the Church of St Andrew in Middleton, which has origins dating back over 1,000 years. The church boasts a fascinating collection of Viking crosses. Both churches have received funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

Newly added sites

Added: Leeds’ Grand Quarter

This area was the first to be developed beyond Leeds' medieval boundaries in the 1600s. Buildings from each century remain today, including the fine Victorian Grand Theatre, home to the national opera company Opera North. But heavy traffic and empty shops have left it looking down at heel. The Grand Quarter has recently been chosen as a High Street Heritage Action Zone where Historic England funding will help revive and improve the area’s special character.

Added: Cappleside Barn, Ribblesdale, North Yorkshire

Built in 1714, this is a large barn with a remarkable ornamental roof structure made from carefully shaped timbers that also include carved witches marks such as ‘daisy-wheels’. The barn, with a cutting-edge design for its time, includes integrated housing for cows which allowed more cattle to be kept over the winter, increasing herd sizes and prosperity. The roof needs repairs, as does some stonework, to keep this hidden gem weathertight.

Added: One of four round barrows known as Robin Hood's Butts

Bowl barrows are graves and were made between 4,400 and 3,500 years ago, between the so-called Late Neolithic and the Late Bronze Ages. The site got its name from local folklore, which describes Robin Hood and Little John using the barrows to play. A team of nearly 50 volunteers work hard in the North York Moors National Park to monitor the archaeological sites: this one was identified as having a bracken problem.