AN early 19th century railway goods shed in Darlington has been named as one of 13 new North-East heritage buildings at risk.

Historic England has today published its annual 2019 Heritage at Risk Register, revealing the historic sites in need of urgent attention.

In the North-East, sites added to the list include Hexham’s town centre and a Victorian church in Sunderland.

However this year, 30 places in the region have been saved and - as a result - removed from the Register.

In County Durham, West Mural Tower in Bishop Auckland has been lovingly restored to its former glory, whilst in Tyne & Wear, a 17th century ironworks has been rescued for future generations, while in Northumberland a derelict mid-18th century lead mining building has been given new life as a camping barn.

Built in 1833, the Grade II listed shed on North Road in Darlington formed part of the early development of the Stockton & Darlington Railway’s infrastructure.

The goods shed was the second to be built at the railway, which was the world’s first example of a modern railway and opened in 1825.

The building is currently used to mend locomotives but it has fallen into a poor state of repair. Fortunately, it has been earmarked for restoration as part of a multi-million pound project to transform the 26 miles of railway into a major tourist attraction ahead of its bicentenary in 2025.

Darlington and Stockton Times:

In Bishop Auckland, the Grade I-listed West Mural Tower, part of Auckland Castle, dates back to at least the 15th century and once served as a defensive gatehouse.

The building was derelict for many years and was saved from the brink of collapse by a Historic England and Auckland Project-funded restoration programme, as part of the Bishop Auckland Heritage Action Zone.

Much of the original structure was taken down and rebuilt, together with new stone sourced from a local quarry, which closely resembles the original material.

It was reopened this summer and will be used for educational activities.

Progress has also been made on the Grade I-listed Brancepeth Castle in County Durham

Over the past 40 years, it has been owned by the Dobson family who have worked hard to mend the leaking roofs and crumbling walls, caused by years of neglect.

In 2017, Historic England gave a grant of £400,000 for emergency roofing works and stonework repairs. Now complete, this work has ensured the continued use of the castle as a venue for weddings and public events and enabled the family to develop plans for future business opportunities and public access.

Darlington and Stockton Times:

Kate Wilson, Heritage at Risk lead for Historic England in the North-East, said: “I’m delighted that we’ve seen an overall reduction in the number of entries in the North-East.

“Every site to come off the Register tells a story of hard work, ingenuity and passion from the communities, heritage professionals and organisations that have fought to save it.

"I look forward to working with those who will be taking on the challenge of securing the futures of the newly added sites.”