The UK is, as a country, steeped in history and culture. And much of that long-standing heritage is preserved in its buildings, many of which are really, really old. While some of those historic buildings have been well-preserved over centuries, some, erm, haven’t.
Historic England has a vast register of buildings that it deems both important and ‘at risk’ – and that register has just been updated. A whopping 159 more places are now officially ‘at risk’, meaning they are apparently at risk of neglect, decay or inappropriate development. HE recommends that these places are restored and brought back to life, and last year the organisation awarded £7.63 million in grants to at-risk sites.
So which are this year’s additions? Well, they range from buildings and structures to archaeological finds and places of worship. One of the 159 is the Great White Horse Hotel in Ipswich, Suffolk, which over the years has been visited by the likes of Charles Dickens, King George II, Admiral Horatio Nelson and The Beatles. Unfortunately, the property is apparently now in poor condition with active dry rot on the second floor and detaching plaster ornaments.
Other notable locations at risk are the Holbeche House in the West Midlands (where the Gunpowder Plot unravelled), the Church of St Mary in Suffolk (which was painted by celebrated landscape artist John Constable), Longton Central Methodist Hall and Priory House at Much Wenlock. In total, there are 4,871 entries on the register.
But Historic England’s 2023 ‘at risk’ list isn’t all bad news. Impressively, 203 sites that have been taken off the register this year, including Bourn Mill, one of the oldest windmills in England and the Holmfirth Conservation Area in Yorkshire, best known as for starring in TV comedy series ‘Last of the Summer Wine’.
You can find out more about the heritage spots at risk on this interactive map by Heritage England.
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