Historic England’s Heritage at Risk Register gives an annual snapshot of the condition of some of the South East’s most important historic buildings, sites, monuments and places. Although 28 sites have been added to the register, some 53 have been removed for 2016.
Although Norris Castle has been on the register since 2011, there are 2 additions for 2016 – the Estate’s Registered Park and Garden and ornamental farm. The site is at risk because of a backlog of maintenance and the deterioration of significant historic fabric, through leaking roofs, poor guttering and plant growth. Historic England is working with the new owners and Isle of Wight Council to restore this important site to its former glory.
The Heritage at Risk Register 2016 reveals that in the South East, 86 Grade I and II* buildings; 217 scheduled monuments; 104 places of worship; 24 registered parks and gardens; 1 battlefield; 4 protected wrecks and 70 conservation areas are at risk of neglect, decay or inappropriate change. There are 506 assets on the South East Register, 28 fewer than in 2015.
Over the past year, Historic England has offered £471,000 in grants to help 13 of the region’s best loved and most important historic sites, including the Hammerhead Crane in Cowes. The iconic crane has been at risk for many years and has long been in danger of losing significant parts of its structure to decay caused by a lack of maintenance. Historic England has given the Isle of Wight Council a £76,000 grant to allow them to carry out essential and urgent repairs to some of the most badly corroded sections of the Crane’s tower. Further works are planned in the near future.
Clare Charlesworth, Heritage at Risk Principal Adviser for Historic England in the South East said:
“From coastal defence batteries to landscape parks, there are many challenges when sites become at risk. Historic England continues to invest grant aid and to dedicate time and expertise working with owners, developers and communities to find solutions to rescue precious sites in the South East so people can continue to enjoy them and the stories they tell about our past.
“We’ve seen great progress this year at important sites like Saltdean Lido in Brighton and the iconic Hammerhead Crane on the Isle of Wight 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, especially as the cost of conservation and rescue is increasing.”