The news comes following the publication of English Heritage’s ‘at risk’ register for 2013, which highlights Cowes’ Hammerheard Crane as a priority site to be repaired and maintained as fears grow that it could simply fall into the River Medina.
There are 22 ‘at risk’ sites on the Isle of Wight including the spectacular Grade II* listed Northwood House, which has an uncertain future; Bouldnor Battery – a WWII military site which now requires emergency propping as the steel frame is corroding – and Grade I listed Norris Castle in East Cowes (pictured), which has serious arrears of maintenance.
The downward trend for the Island’s heritage is signalled by two new Register entries: Bouldnor Battery which is a Scheduled Monument at risk and the Church of St Pauls in Regent Street, Shanklin which is at risk due to decaying stonework and slipped roof tiles.
In total on the Isle of Wight, there are now four highly-graded Buildings or Structures at risk, seven Places of Worship, 5 Scheduled Monuments, five Conservation Areas and 1 Registered Park and Garden.
Dr Andy Brown, Planning and Conservation Director for English Heritage in the South East said:
“Per head of population, heritage on the Isle of Wight is more at risk than any other part of the South East. This will come as a shock to many people on the Island who care passionately about the wealth of historic buildings and monuments that help make the Isle of Wight so attractive to visitors.
“We have met with the Leader of the Isle of Wight Council and have urged him to put the Island’s heritage higher on its agenda. The Leader described their emerging heritage strategy which shows welcome commitment.
“However the Council also has the powers to put pressure on owners of vulnerable listed buildings so they are encouraged to take their responsibilities seriously. They are actively considering action over the Hammerhead Crane in Cowes, but we need a wider plan of action to tackle this alarming trend.”
There is however, some good news for the Island.
English Heritage and the HLF have recently offered £24,000 in funding to look at options for urgent repairs to 14th Century Grade I listed Church of All Saints, Church Hill, Godshill, which is suffering from structural cracking to the south-west corner and leaking guttering which is staining one of the interior wall paintings.
The 22 at risk sites include:
Buildings and structures
- Norris Castle, Newbarn Road, East Cowes (Grade I Listed)
- Northwood House, Ward Avenue, Cowes (Grade II* Listed)
- Hammerhead Crane, Thetis Road, West Cowes (Grade II* Listed)
- Remains of Old Quarr Abbey, Fishbourne Park Road, Binstead, Ryde (Grade II Listed /Scheduled Monument)
Places of worship
- Church of All Saints, Church Hill, Godshill, (Grade I Listed)
- Church of St Paul’s including parish room, Regent Street, Shanklin – (Grade II Listed)
- Church of St Thomas, St Thomas’s Square, Newport (Grade I Listed)
- Church of St Mary, Church Road, Cowes (Grade II* Listed)
- Holy Trinity Church, Dover Street, Ryde (Grade II Listed)
- St Boniface (Old Church), Bonchurch, Ventnor (Grade II*)
- St John’s Church, High Street, Wroxall (Grade II Listed)
- Brading – Fair condition (Deteriorating)
- Carisbrooke – Poor condition (Deteriorating)
- Cowes – Poor condition ( Deteriorating)
- Godshill – Fair condition ( Deteriorating)
- Newport – Poor condition (Deteriorating)
- Bouldnor Battery, Shalfleet, (Scheduled Monument – deterioration – in need of management)
- A Bronze Age barrow and Anglo-Saxon cemetery on Bowcombe Down, 575m south east of Apesdown (Scheduled Monument – arable ploughing)
- Two bowl barrows 180m WNW of Puck House, Fishbourne (Scheduled Monument – arable ploughing)
- Medieval settlement 100m south east and 350m north east of East Ashey Manor Farm, Brading (Scheduled Monument – scrub/tree growth)
- Bowl barrow on Newbarn Down: 1.1km south west of Rowridge, Brighstone (Scheduled Monument – moderate stock erosion)
Park and garden
- Swainston, Calbourne (Registered Park and Garden Grade II)