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Region's "heritage at risk" gets task force
ENGLISH Heritage has launched its Heritage at Risk Register 2012 – with the North-East retaining its unwelcome title of having the highest percentage of grade I and grade II buildings under threat.
The conservation body yesterday revealed that 69 of the region’s grade I and II buildings, 181 scheduled monuments, 18 places of worship, three registered parks and gardens, a battlefield and 20 conservation areas are at risk.
Although at 6.1 per cent, this is down from a peak of 9.9 per cent in 2001, English Heritage bosses say there is still much to be done.
It has embarked on an ambitious programme to find out how one major element of our heritage not already covered by the registered – the nation’s grade II buildings – can be assessed.
There are more than 11,000 grade II buildings in the North-East, accounting for 90 per cent of all listed buildings in the region.
Beautiful, historic or architecturally special, they are the cottages, factories, shops, town halls, libraries, farm houses and other distinguished buildings that shape the character of the region.
Carol Pyrah, English Heritage planning director for the North- East, said: “Grade II buildings are the bulk of the North-East’s heritage treasury. When one of them is lost, it’s as though someone has rubbed out a bit of the past – something that made your street or your village special will have gone.
“We need help and are prepared to fund up to 15 pilot surveys around the country with local authorities, national parks, heritage and community groups as partners.
“For local authorities or other groups who come forward, this means the chance to find out which buildings most need their increasingly scarce resources.”
Another boost for the region’s defining legacy was the announcement yesterday of a Heritage at Risk Team for the region.
Kate Wilson, who will head the new team said: “With a dedicated team tackling heritage at risk, we are in an excellent position to help owners, developers and local groups take up the challenge of finding solutions for some of the very best buildings and landscapes everywhere in the country.”
The Heritage at Risk Register also reveals that 91 of Yorkshire’s grade I and II buildings, 676 scheduled monuments, 63 places of workshop, 13 registered parks and gardens, four battlefields and 53 conservation areas are at risk.
To search the Heritage at Risk Register, go to english-heritage.org.uk/risk
THE most important historic buildings and sites in the North-East and North Yorkshire, on the Heritage at Risk register:
Bowes Railway, Gateshead;
Greenhouse and potting shed, Felton Park, Northumberland;
Harperley Second World War prisoner of war camp, Wolsingham, County Durham;
Kirkleatham Hall stables and landscape, Redcar;
Monastic cell and medieval tower, Coquet Island, Northumberland;
Prebends’ Bridge, Framwellgate, Durham;
Ravensworth Castle, Gateshead;
Small multivallate hill fort and tower mill on Shackleton Beacon Hill, Darlington;
Sockburn Hall and Church, Darlington;
Ushaw College, County Durham.
Barden Church, Barden, Yorkshire Dales National Park;
Battle of Towton battlefield, Selby;
Birdsall Estate, including 16 scheduled monuments, Ryedale;
Keld Heads lead smeltmill and mine complex, Wensley, Richmondshire;
Grassington Moor and the lead mines, processing works and mill, Yorkshire Dales National Park;
Whortlon Castle, gatehouse and ruins of undercroft, Whorlton, North York Moors National Park.
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