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English Heritage Reveals South West Heritage At Risk Register 2014

  • 146 Historic Sites across the South West rescued including theTrinity Centre, Bristol; St Giles' House Registered Park and Garden, Dorset; Offa's Dyke in Gloucestershire; Stone Circle in Porlock, Somerset, a Bowl Barrow west of East Kennet Long Barrow, Wiltshire, spectacular Walronds Town House in Devon and Tokenbury Camp, Cornwall.

Grade I listed The Walronds, Cullompton, Devon which has been fully restored and removed from English Heritage's Heritage At Risk Register in 2014.
Grade I listed The Walronds, Cullompton, Devon which has been fully restored and removed from English Heritage's Heritage At Risk Register in 2014. © Collumpton Walrond Preservation Trust

At a glance by county

  • In Bristol, 1 site added and 2 sites removed
  • In Dorset, 26 sites added and 14 removed
  • In Gloucestershire, 23 sites added and 15 removed
  • In Somerset, 26 sites added and 12 removed
  • In Wiltshire, 12 sites added and 19 removed
  • In Devon, 33 added and 61 removed
  • In Cornwall, 37 added and 22 removed

St Mary-le-Port Church in Bristol, St John's Church in West Bay, Dorset, the Mythe Bridge in Tewkesbury, nationally important barrows in Somerset and Wiltshire, Burridge Hill Fort in Devon, Geevor Mine St Just and the Sancreed Churchyard Crossin Cornwall are among those vulnerable historic gems newly added to English Heritage's Heritage at Risk Register 2014 in the South West announced today (Thursday 23 October, 2014).

Across the region,181 sites have been added to the Register because of concerns about their condition including 125 places of worship, while  146 sites have been repaired and removed from the Register, including 12 places of worship. Over the past year, English Heritage has offered £1.2 million 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 West,  158 Grade I and II* buildings, 1,317 scheduled monuments, 163 places of worship, 16 registered parks and gardens, one battlefield and  47 conservation areas are at risk of neglect, decay of inappropriate change. Over the past year, 4 Grade I and II* listed buildings and structures have been successfully removed in the region because their futures have been secured, but 7 have been added.

Overall, the majority of the entries removed from the Register this year in the South West are scheduled monuments or archaeological sites. Funding from Natural England's Environmental Stewardship Scheme achieved 69 of our 125 archaeological successes, particularly in rural environments.

Andrew Vines, Planning and Conservation Director for English Heritage in the South West said: "We're proud of our achievement this year in removing over 140 historic sites from the Register in the South West. We are on target nationally to save 25% or 1,137 sites that were on our Register in 2010 by 2015. However, we face challenges in the years ahead to help save many other at risk sites. Continuing to work in partnership with owners, developers, the Heritage Lottery Fund, Natural England, councils and local groups is the way we will help to safeguard the South West's heritage for future generations."

The Trinity Centre, Holy Trinity Church, Bristol which has been rescued and removed from the Heritage at Risk Register 2014.
The Trinity Centre, Holy Trinity Church, Bristol which has been rescued and removed from the Heritage at Risk Register 2014. © Simon Cartlidge

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 West, this figure is 5.6% or 163 places of worship. Over the past year, 125 places of worship have been added to the Register and 12 have been removed. The churches added to the Register are spread fairly evenly across the counties in the region, with 7 in Dorset, 21 in Gloucestershire, 23 in Somerset, 10 in Wiltshire and 24 in Cornwall. Devon has the most places of worship added to the Register with 40.

Of those places of worship considered at risk, congregations face significant problems such as a combination of failing rOf 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.

Highlights in the South West 

Bristol

In total there are 16 sites on the Heritage at Risk Register in Bristol. A new addition to the Register this year is the ruins of St Mary-le-Port Church in central Bristol which is an archaeological site at risk. The 15th century tower and the remains of the medieval church have suffered from vandalism and the walls are structurally unsound and in need of urgent repair.

Among the sites rescued and removed from the Register in Bristol is The Trinity Centre - a Grade II* listed large Gothic Revival Commissioners' Church dating back to 1829. Already converted and in use by Trinity Community Arts, English Heritage has grant-aided repairs to an aisle roof and a feasibility study which has helped to secure further grants to make the first phase of improvements to the interior of the building.  This has given a new lease of life for Trinity Community Arts as a music, creative arts and events venue for the people of Bristol.

Dorset 

In total there are 312 sites on the Heritage at Risk Register in Dorset. Scheduled monuments or archaeological sites make up the greatest proportion of this figure with 279 at risk.

New entries in Dorset include the Grade II listed Church of St John on the quayside in WestBay, Bridport, built to serve the local fishing community. West Bay harbour was a key location in the filming of ITV drama Broadchurch. The concrete vestry roof and main church roof need urgent repairs to stop water leaking into the building. The congregation has already started fundraising to help with the repair costs.

Among the sites removed from the Register in Dorset, is Grade II* listed St Giles' House Registered Park and Garden. Its ground-breaking design has influenced other important landscapes such as Stourhead. The restoration of the landscape includes de-silting the 18th century lake, repairs to the lodges, replanting the Great Avenue and, nearing completion, the restoration of a spectacular Grade II* listed shell grotto.

Gloucestershire 

In total there are 131 sites on the Heritage at Risk Register in Gloucestershire, including 71 scheduled monuments or archaeological sites.

New additions in Gloucestershire include the rusting cast iron Grade II* listed Mythe Bridge in Tewkesbury. The sandstone piers of the bridge are severely fractured and eroded and some of the piers are covered in harmful ivy growth.

Among the sites removed from the Register in Gloucestershire is a section of Offa's Dyke at Tidenham in the Forest of Dean.  Erosion scars have been repaired using turf adjacent to the monument, along with scrub clearance and selective tree felling, to restore this monument. Where the dyke breaks to allow for drainage, a new bridge was installed to maintain continuous access.

Somerset

In total there are 146 sites on the Heritage at Risk Register in Somerset including 74 scheduled monuments or archaeological sites.

The grade I listed Church Without Dedication, High Ham is a new entry because repairs are needed to its roof and stonework.

Among the sites removed from the Register in Somerset is the Stone Circle, Porlock Common on Exmoor, where the Environmental Stewardship Scheme has funded improvements to the site to reduce erosion from vehicles and livestock.

Wiltshire 

In total there are 269 sites on the Heritage at Risk Register in Wiltshire including 241 scheduled monuments or archaeological sites.

A new entry to the Register in Wiltshire is the bowl barrow north of Truncombe Wood which is suffering from significant erosion by livestock.  A project to repair the damage and stabilise the site is planned with funding from the Environmental Stewardship Scheme.

Among the 19 Scheduled Monuments removed from the Register in 2014 in Wiltshire is a Bowl Barrow, west of East Kennet Long Barrow which was being damaged by ploughing but is now covered in grass which will ensure the long term protection of the site.  The improvement to the management of the monument has come about through funding from the Environmental Stewardship Scheme.

Devon 

In total, there are 545 sites on the Heritage at Risk Register in Devon. The majority of these are archaeological sites with 432 of them at risk.

Burridge Hill Fort, Pilton West has been added to the Register as a Scheduled Monument at risk due to problems with arable ploughing over the site, and Grade I listed Church of St Peter ad Vincula, Ashwater, Torridge is a new entry due to slow decay. The church is suffering from problems with its guttering, damp and slipped slates. It is hoped the parish will apply for an HLF repair grant in the near future.

Among the sites rescued and removed in Devon is Grade I listed The Walronds, in Cullompton, which reopened in the summer following the completion of a £2 million restoration project. This early 17th century town house contains features of exceptional importance such as ornamental plasterwork, panelling and fireplaces. It was on the Heritage at Risk Register for seven years but has now been restored to its former glory in an exemplary repair project led by the Cullompton Walronds Preservation Trust and the Vivat Trust. The house is now being used as a community arts centre and a holiday let.

 

Cross in Sancreed Churchyard, Penzance, Cornwall - Scheduled Monument added to the Heritage at Risk Register 2014 due to its instability and severe lean.
Cross in Sancreed Churchyard, Penzance, Cornwall - Scheduled Monument added to the Heritage at Risk Register 2014 due to its instability and severe lean.

Cornwall

In total there are 277 sites on the Heritage at Risk Register in Cornwall. The majority of these are archaeological sites with 214 of them at risk.

A new addition to the Register this year is Geevor Mine, an historic mine attraction featuring an underground tour and modern mining exhibition. Located in the far west of Cornwall, it is the largest and most complete surviving tin mine in Britain and Europe, remaining much as it was when the mine closed in 1991. The 25 acre site includes a large number of 18th to 20th century structures ranging from small stone buildings through to large industrial complexes and specialised machines the size of buildings. The increasing burden of routine maintenance and running costs and the sheer scale of major repairs needed to conserve the buildings and structures has put the mine at risk.

The Church of St Creden, Sancreed, Penzance is a new entry to the Register this year because major urgent repairs are needed to the fabric and roof of the building and it is also affected by harmful scrub growth. Just 10 metres south of the church, the nationally-important Christian monument - the Sancreed Churchyard Cross has been added to the Register due to its excessive lean and instability.

Among the sites rescued and removed are Tokenbury Camp, St Ives where improved management of the site has helped reduce the risk of damage from animal burrowing, and Tregeare Camp Egloskerry, which is now no longer at risk from damaging scrub and tree growth due to improved management.

Grade II* listed Church of St David, Davidstow has been removed from the Register following grant-aided structural repairs to consolidate the masonry around the tower.

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

  • 3% of Grade I and II* listed buildings (excluding places of worship) are at risk in the South West - 158 buildings. Nationally, 4.0% of Grade I and II* listed buildings are at risk.
  • 163 Places of Worship are on the Register in the South West. 12 places of worship have been removed from the Register following repair work and 125 have been added.
  • 3,012 (15.2%) of England's 19,833 scheduled monuments are on the Register.  1,317 (18.8%) of the South West's 7,010 scheduled monuments are on the Register.
  • 93 (5.7%) of England's 1,628 registered parks and gardens are on the Register. In the South West, 16 (5.4%) are on the Register, with 2 removed in the past last year.
  • 497 (6.1%) of the 9,848 surveyed conservation areas in England are on the Register. 47 (4.0%) of the 1,174 conservation areas surveyed in the South West are on the Register. Over the past year, 3 have been removed and 2 have been added.
  • In 2013/14, £1.2 million in English Heritage grants was offered to 74 sites on the Register.

The 7 Buildings and Structures in the South West added to the Register in 2014 are:

  • Grade II* listed Trenearne, Padstow, Cornwall
  • The Dovecote, Malthouse and outer Gatehouse, St Peter's Abbey, Abbotsbury, Dorset
  • Abbey Church of St Mary, St Sansom and St Branwalader, Milton Abbas, Dorset
  • Icehouse at Ringstead, 660 metres south west of Pit House, Osmington, Dorset
  • Grade II* listed Mythe Bridge, Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire
  • Grade I Gatehouse to west of Manor Farmhouse, Whatley, Somerset
  • Llanthony Priory, remains of the Tythe Barn on north side of Inner Court, Llanthony Road, Gloucestershire

The 4 Buildings and Structures in the South West removed from the Register are:

  • Grade II* listed The Trinity Centre, Holy Trinity Church, Bristol
  • Grade II* Clifton Observatory, Clifton, Bristol
  • Grade I listed The Walronds, Fore Street, Cullompton, Devon
  • Castle House, Castle Green, Taunton, Devon

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

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

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