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English Heritage Reveals South East Heritage at Risk Register 2014

  • Eastbourne Pier, East Sussex, Yaverland Battery, Isle of Wight, the Clock Tower at Stonor House Chapel, Oxfordshire and historic house Gate Piers in Berkshire among 73 sites added to the Heritage at Risk Register 2014.
  • 2 sites in Berkshire, 2 in Buckinghamshire, 20 in Kent, 13 in Hampshire, 6 on the Isle of Wight, 10 in Oxfordshire, 7 in Surrey , 7 in East Sussex and 6 in West Sussex added.
  • 30 sites rescued and removed in the South East including 1 in Berkshire, 2 in Buckinghamshire, 4 in Kent, 3 in Hampshire, 1 on the Isle of Wight, 10 in Oxfordshire, 1 in Surrey, 6 in East Sussex and 2 in West Sussex.

Iconic Eastbourne Pier in East Sussex has been added to the Heritage At Risk Register after a major fire in summer 2014
Iconic Eastbourne Pier in East Sussex has been added to the Heritage At Risk Register after a major fire in summer 2014

Fire-damaged Eastbourne Pier, Yaverland Battery on the Isle of Wight, the 15th century clock tower at Stonor House Chapel, Oxfordshire, decaying Church of Holy Trinity, Guildford, Surrey, and a pair of gate piers in the grounds of Hampstead Marshall in Berkshire which was destroyed by fire in 1718, are among those vulnerable historic gems in the South East added to English Heritage's Heritage at Risk Register launched today (Thursday 23 October, 2014).

Across the South East, 73 sites were added to the Register this year including 67 places of worship and 30 sites were removed and their futures secured including 12 places of worship. Over the past year, English Heritage has offered £317,000 in grants to help some of the region's best loved and most important historic sites.

The Heritage at Risk Register 2014 reveals that in the South East, 91 Grade I and II* buildings, 263 scheduled monuments, 116 places of worship, 24 registered parks and gardens, one battlefield, 63 conservation areas and four protected wrecks are at risk from neglect, decay or inappropriate change.

Dr Andy Brown, Planning and Conservation Director for English Heritage in the South East said: "We've seen great progress this year at important sites like RAF Bicester in Oxfordshire, Bouldnor Battery on the Isle of Wight and Wymering Manor in Hampshire, but there's still a lot for us and our partners to do in order to preserve the historic buildings and places in the South East for future generations. We are pleased to say, however, that we have had several successes in removing historic sites from the Register this year as we and our many partners take care to keep attention focussed on heritage at risk."

Last year, English Heritage announced a programme to find out how the one major element of our heritage not already covered by the Heritage at Register - the nation's Grade II listed buildings - can be assessed. Grade II listed buildings make up the bulk of our heritage with 345,000 Grade II listed buildings in England, accounting for 92% of all listed buildings.

The next stage of English Heritage's work to survey these Grade II listed buildings, and see how many are at risk and why, is due to start soon in Aylesbury Vale, Buckinghamshire. Aylesbury Vale District Council will be working with local volunteers to visit a range of grade II listed buildings in the area. They will be testing the online survey tool that English Heritage is developing, to record the buildings' condition. These test projects are preparing the ground for hundreds of volunteers across the country to take part in the nationwide survey next summer.

East and West Sussex

Iconic Eastbourne Pier, East Sussex which is one of the most important piers in the country, was added to the Register in the summer after the devastating fire which engulfed about a third of the structure and destroyed the landward arcade building. English Heritage is giving expert advice on the rebuild and is pleased the eastern walkway has now reopened helping local businesses at the end of the pier.

An important protected wreck site added to the Register is Hazardous - a 54-gun British Third Rate warship which was beached in Bracklesham Bay, West Sussex during a storm in 1706. Licensed divers discovered it is at risk of being lost to the nation through serious environmental threats. The winter storms of 2013/14 have significantly reduced the layers of sand that were covering much of the wreck exposing artefacts such as ship fixtures and fittings and armaments such as cannon trucks to increased deterioration and decay.

The wreck of Holland No.5 submarine which lies off the coast of Eastbourne in East Sussex has been removed from the Register in 2014. She is the only surviving example of this class of submarine on the seabed anywhere in the world and has been saved by the vigilance of the licensed diving community to stop unauthorised access, as well as having regular inspections of her condition. She was the first submarine commissioned by the Royal Navy in 1903, but rapidly became obsolete and in 1912 she foundered and sank while being towed to the scrap yard at Sheerness.

Diver Inspecting Holland V submarine that has been removed from the 2014 Heritage at Risk register
Diver Inspecting Holland V submarine that has been removed from the 2014 Heritage at Risk register © Martin Davies

Pelham Arcade, Hastings

One site which is well on its way towards being removed from the Register is Grade II* listed Pelham Arcade in Hastings, East Sussex - one of England's oldest shopping arcades. Once an eyesore, this 19th century arcade of subterranean shops at the foot of Castle hill cliff is being transformed.

English Heritage has been working with Hastings Borough Council over the past four years to repair the large roof light covering the internal walkway to stop major leaks and new timber shop fronts in a traditional style are being fitted making the shops more in keeping with their original appearance.

Pelham Arcade was upgraded from Grade II to Grade II* in 2011 in recognition of its importance of early town planning as well as being a rare survival of a semi-underground arcade.

Dr Andy Brown, Planning and Conservation Director at English Heritage in the South East said: "Restoring the historic character and appearance of this special shopping arcade which was created just after the prestigious Burlington Arcade in London, has been a priority for English Heritage. We look forward to the completion of this project, which will add a new dimension to the experience of visiting Hastings."

Cllr Peter Chowney, Deputy Leader of Hastings Borough Council and lead member for regeneration, added: "We are very pleased indeed with the progress that has been made so far with Pelham Arcade. The whole of Pelham Crescent is a real gem, and it is fantastic to see the arcade starting to be brought up to the standard of the crescent above.

"We are committed to restoring the rest of the arcade to the same high standard, and will work with English Heritage to encourage, and if necessary persuade, the rest of the property owners to invest in their premises too."

Grade II * listed Pelham Arcade, Hastings, one of England's oldest shopping arcades. Well on the way to being restored
Grade II * listed Pelham Arcade, Hastings, one of England's oldest shopping arcades. Well on the way to being restored

Isle of Wight

On the Isle of Wight there are 27 sites on the register. A new addition this year is Yaverland Battery, an important surviving example of a 19th century Royal Commission Battery designed to protect both the Isle of Wight and the Portsmouth naval base from French attack.

The winter storms of 2013/14 have caused the collapse of a section of wall which has made part of the structure unstable. Five places of worship including two Grade II* listed churches and three Grade II listed churches have also been added to the Register on the Isle of Wight. One church has been rescued and removed on the island - Grade I listed St John's Church, Wroxall following repairs to its roofs and guttering.

Last year, English Heritage voiced its concern about the high number of crumbling nationally-important historic sites on the Isle of Wight.

Dr Andy Brown, Planning and Conservation Director for English Heritage in the South East said: "Per head of population, heritage on the Isle of Wight is still most at risk compared with other counties in the South East. However, I am pleased that some progress is being made and campaigns such as 'Stop the Rot' are helping to inspire action to save vulnerable sites on the island such as Frank James Hospital and the Hammerhead Crane."

Storm damaged Yaverland Battery on the Isle of Wight, added to the Heritage At Risk Register 2014
Storm damaged Yaverland Battery on the Isle of Wight, added to the Heritage At Risk Register 2014

Places Of Worship

Over the past year, English Heritage has been working closely with the Church of England, Roman Catholic Church, Baptist Union, Methodist Church and United Reformed Church to find out more about the condition of places of worship.

This builds on the information gathered by five-yearly condition reports by independent architects and surveyors to help English Heritage identify and support those buildings most in need. Nationally, 6.0% of listed places of worship are on the Register and in the South East, this figure is 5.1% or 116 places of worship.

Of those places of worship considered at risk, congregations face significant problems such as a combination of failing roofs, broken gutters and downpipes and damage to high level stonework which are huge challenges requiring not only large amounts of funding but determination and expertise to repair.

Hampshire

In Hampshire, 13 places of worship have been added to the Register. Examples include: Grade I listed Church of St Mary and All Saints, Droxford which needs repairs to the tower, stonework and roof; Grade II* listed St Faith's Church in Havant which urgently needs a new roof; and Grade II listed Church of St Luke, Portsmouth which is at risk because of damp.

Grade II* listed London Lodge, Highclere Park, Highclere has been removed from the Register this year following repairs and consolidation works. The gate lodge will have a new use as a holiday let.

Surrey

In Surrey, 7 places of worship have been added to the Register. Examples include: Grade I listed Church of Holy Trinity,Guildford which has been added this year due to roof issues and poor brick and stonework; Grade II* listed Church of St Nicholas, Shepperton which is at risk because of structural movement, and Grade II listed West Humble Chapel, Westhumble, Box Hill, which was originally an oak-framed barn converted in the 19th century for use by railway workers. The church is suffering from slow decay and its oak frame is in poor condition. One Grade II listed church has been removed from the register - the Church of St Matthew in Ashford following repairs.

Kent

In Kent, 20 places of worship have been added to the Register. This figure includes 13 Grade I places of worship, 4 Grade II* places of worship and 3 Grade II places of worship.

Examples include: Grade I listed Church of St Dunstan, Cranbook which suffers from vandalism as well as needing repairs to the tower; Grade II* listed Church of St Peter and St Paul, in Ospringe which is slowly decaying and suffers from damp caused by slipped tiles and ivy growth; and Grade II listed Church of St Peter also known as the Fisherman's Church in Folkestone, which is deteriorating due to its stonework being in poor condition its roof needing repairs.

Three places of worship have been rescued and removed from the Register in Kent. They are: Grade I listed Church of St Mary, Sundridge, Grade I listed Church of St Mary, Westwell and Grade II* listed Church of St Mary and St Eanswythe, Folkestone.

Oxfordshire

In Oxfordshire there are 68 sites on the Register. One that is well on its way to being removed, is the former military airfield at RAF Bicester, which is in a conservation area. English Heritage is pleased that the repair and reuse projects which have been carried out on the Technical and Domestic parts of the site, which are now in separate ownership, have seen the risk of unsuitable development largely reduced, due to sensitive conversion of the Grade II listed buildings on the site, and the fact that the Technical part of the site is establishing itself as a centre for historic motoring and aviation.

One Grade I listed building in the county has been added this year- The Chapel at Stonor House, South Oxfordshire. The early 15th century tower is at risk due to problems with its roof, guttering and stone and brickwork. One place of worship has been rescued and removed in the county - Church of St Peter and St Paul, Checkendon following English Heritage and HLF grant aided repairs to the roofs, stonework and drainage.

Berkshire

In Berkshire, there are 29 sites on the Register with two added and one removed this year. The early 18th century brick gate piers and attached walling, formerly in the gardens of once magnificent Hampstead Marshall which was destroyed by fire in 1718, have been added to the Register due to open joints in the brickwork causing it to bulge. English Heritage is hoping to agree a programme of repairs with the owners of the site.
Grade II listed Church of St Michael and All Angels, Sunninghill has been added because it is at risk from leaking guttering and problems associated with deteriorating stone and brickwork. The Long Barrow at Combe Gibbet, Gallows Down has been removed from the Register due to improved management and grant-aid from the Natural England Environmental Stewardship scheme.

Buckinghamshire

In Buckinghamshire, there are 40 sites on the Register with 2 added and 2 removed in 2014. Grade I listed Church of St Mary, Long Crendon is in a poor condition but the good news is that grant-aided repairs are underway addressing issues with roofs to the north of the church, following works the south aisle roof and guttering in 2011.
Two Roman villas have been removed from the Register in the county due to improved management. They are: the Roman villa east of Lodge Hill Farm, Bledlow-cum-Saunderton and the Roman villa south east of Newton Lodge Farm, Newton Blossomville.

Key Facts From The Heritage At Risk Register 2014 In The South East:

  • 2.2% of Grade I and II* listed buildings (excluding places of worship) are at risk in the South East - 91 buildings. Nationally, 4.0% of Grade I and II* listed buildings are at risk.
  • 5.1% or 116 places of worship are on the register in the South East. Nationally, 6.0% of listed places of worship are on the register. 12 places of worship in the South Easthave been removed from the Register following repair work and 67 have been added.
  • 3,012 (15.2%) of England's 19,833 scheduled monuments are on the Register, of which 263 are in the South East.
  • 93 (5.7%) of England's 1,628 registered parks and gardens are on the Register. In the South East, 24 (6.5%) are on the Register, the same as last year.
  • 497 (6.1%) of the 8,206 surveyed conservation areas in England are on the Register. 63 (3.9%) of the 1,622 conservation areas surveyed in the South East are on the Register. Over the past year, 2 have been removed and none have been added.
  • In 2013/14, £317,000 in grants was offered to 16 sites on the Register including repairs to Pelham Arcade, Hastings and the LMR Swingbridge, Oxford.
  • Nationally, more than half the buildings on the original Register in 1999 have now been saved - 59.4% or 848.

For more information on heritage successfully rescued and removed from the Register this year please see the South East fact sheet.

To search the Heritage at Risk Register 2014, visit www.english-heritage.org.uk/risk.

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