Crumbling English landmarks are left 'in peril'

Neglectful owners of historic landmarks risk being named and shamed by English Heritage, which has placed one fifth of all the nation's monuments and battlefields on a register of threatened structures and warned that they are in danger of being lost.

The country's steward of significant historical and archaeological sites has put 1,680 sites on its annual "at risk" register – a rise since last year of 87 grade I and II listed buildings, eight battlefields, and 10 underwater wrecks. About one in every 14 parks, gardens and landscapes is also threatened. Overall, this amounts to one in 12 heritage sites across the nation classed as "high risk", in need of urgent preservation, with £400m needed to save them.

For the first time, the organisation has created a map that ranks local authorities in order of the highest quantity of monuments at risk. In all, 27 authorities, including councils in Birmingham, Gateshead, Rotherham, Leeds and Coventry, have monuments that are listed in the "high risk" category. They include the crumbling grade II-listed Battersea Power Station, a doorless listed telephone box in Whitechapel, east London, a vacant housing estate in Newcastle and battlefields of extraordinary importance – including a Civil War site in Newbury, Berkshire – which are owned by local authorities that are under pressure to use the space for "new build" housing developments.

English Heritage, which released its Heritage at Risk Register yesterday, said owners of homes and monuments that were of national importance and were woefully neglectful could have their identities exposed in the register next year, if the situation is not improved. The heritage body, which is attempting to compile a comprehensive database of sites at risk, which has been called a Doomsday Book, said some of these owners had been hostile to the idea of preserving important sites even when offered money for the task. Simon Thurley, the chief executive of English Heritage, said this wilful neglect and hostility only occurred in a minority of cases. "The first purpose of this register is to spur people into action. There are some who are irresponsible, but they are a very small proportion," he said.

One such example, he said, was the crumbling, overgrown remains of Snodhill Castle, in Herefordshire, dating from the 13th century, which he said, was owned by a group of people and "will not be there in 20 years time if they carry on like they are doing".

Mr Thurley said it was a "scandal" that half of the 572 listed buildings that were at risk in London were currently standing empty. He said he was heartened by the £60m pledge by London's Mayor, Boris Johnson, to transform these neglected structures into homes for Londoners.

Meanwhile, the heritage body SAVE released a compilation of buildings at risk, highlighting the shame of Britain's historic cinemas, which had been left to decay, including the Derby Hippodrome, part of which was illegally demolished.

Vandalised, eroded and in need of repair

Uxbridge Lido, Uxbridge, Middlesex

The grade II-listed lido, 1935, is the only example of a 12-sided "star" swimming pool in the country.

The Gatehouse, Selby, Yorkshire

With the western end of this 15th century gatehouse in ruins, repairs are to be carried out by the Vivat Trust, which intends to convert the gatehouse into a holiday cottage. English Heritage hopes that it will be removed from the list soon.

Bowes Railway Incline and Springwell Colliery, Gateshead

One of the world's first railways, the Bowes Railway Incline is a section of the 1826 Stephenson rope-hauled colliery railway. Along with the Springwell Colliery, it is considered to be the hub of Stephenson's system of rail and tramways. The track is suffering from severe erosion and the buildings on the site have been vandalised.

Arts and Entertainment
Carrie Hope Fletcher
booksFirst video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books
Arts and Entertainment
Damien Hirst
artCoalition's anti-culture policy and cuts in local authority spending to blame, says academic
Arts and Entertainment
A comedy show alumni who has gone on to be a big star, Jon Stewart
tvRival television sketch shows vie for influential alumni
Arts and Entertainment
Jason goes on a special mission for the queen
tvReview: Everyone loves a CGI Cyclops and the BBC's Saturday night charmer is getting epic
Arts and Entertainment
Image has been released by the BBC
tv
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Henry Marsh said he was rather 'pleased' at the nomination
booksHenry Marsh's 'Do No Harm' takes doctors off their pedestal
Arts and Entertainment
All in a day's work: the players in the forthcoming 'Posh People: Inside Tatler'

tv
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
Eddie Redmayne plays Stephen Hawking in new biopic The Imitation Game

'At times I thought he was me'

film
Arts and Entertainment

books
Arts and Entertainment
One Direction go Fourth: The boys pose on the cover of their new album Four

Review: One Direction, Four

music
Arts and Entertainment
'Game of Thrones' writer George RR Martin

Review: The World of Ice and Fire

books
Arts and Entertainment
Sean Bean will play 'extraordinary hero' Inspector John Marlott in The Frankenstein Chronicles
tvHow long before he gets killed off?
Arts and Entertainment
Some like it hot: Blaise Bellville

music
Arts and Entertainment
A costume worn by model Kate Moss for the 2013 photograph

art
Arts and Entertainment

music
Arts and Entertainment
Len Goodman appeared to mutter the F-word after Simon Webbe's Strictly performance

Strictly
Arts and Entertainment
Jamie T makes his long-awaited return to the London stage
musicReview: Alexandra Palace, London
Arts and Entertainment
S Club 7 back in 2001 when they also supported 'Children in Need'
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
Sir Bruce Forsyth rejoins Tess Daly to host the Strictly Come Dancing Children in Need special
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
Jamie Dornan plays Christian Grey getting ready for work

Film More romcom than S&M

Arts and Entertainment
Keira Knightley and Benedict Cumberbatch star in the Alan Turing biopic The Imitation Game

Review: The Imitation Game

film
Arts and Entertainment
The comedian Daniel O'Reilly appeared contrite on BBC Newsnight last night

comedy
Arts and Entertainment
The American stand-up Tig Notaro, who performed topless this week

Comedy...to show her mastectomy scars

Arts and Entertainment

TVNetflix gets cryptic

Arts and Entertainment
Claudia Winkleman is having another week off Strictly to care for her daughter
TV
Arts and Entertainment
BBC Children in Need is the BBC's UK charity. Since 1980 it has raised over £600 million to change the lives of disabled children and young people in the UK

TV review A moving film showing kids too busy to enjoy their youth

Arts and Entertainment
Richard Flanagan with his winning novel

Books Not even a Man Booker prize could save Richard Flanagan from a nomination

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Mau Mau uprising: Kenyans still waiting for justice join class action over Britain's role in the emergency

    Kenyans still waiting for justice over Mau Mau uprising

    Thousands join class action over Britain's role in the emergency
    Isis in Iraq: The trauma of the last six months has overwhelmed the remaining Christians in the country

    The last Christians in Iraq

    After 2,000 years, a community will try anything – including pretending to convert to Islam – to avoid losing everything, says Patrick Cockburn
    Black Friday: Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

    Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

    Britain braced for Black Friday
    Bill Cosby's persona goes from America's dad to date-rape drugs

    From America's dad to date-rape drugs

    Stories of Bill Cosby's alleged sexual assaults may have circulated widely in Hollywood, but they came as a shock to fans, says Rupert Cornwell
    Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

    Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

    As fans flock to see England women's Wembley debut against Germany, the TV presenter on an exciting 'sea change'
    Oh come, all ye multi-faithful: The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?

    Oh come, all ye multi-faithful

    The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?
    Dr Charles Heatley: The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

    The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

    Dr Charles Heatley on joining the NHS volunteers' team bound for Sierra Leone
    Flogging vlogging: First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books

    Flogging vlogging

    First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books
    Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show: US channels wage comedy star wars

    Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show

    US channels wage comedy star wars
    When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine? When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible

    When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine?

    When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible
    Look what's mushrooming now! Meat-free recipes and food scandals help one growing sector

    Look what's mushrooming now!

    Meat-free recipes and food scandals help one growing sector
    Neil Findlay is more a pink shrimp than a red firebrand

    More a pink shrimp than a red firebrand

    The vilification of the potential Scottish Labour leader Neil Findlay shows how one-note politics is today, says DJ Taylor
    Bill Granger recipes: Tenderstem broccoli omelette; Fried eggs with Mexican-style tomato and chilli sauce; Pan-fried cavolo nero with soft-boiled egg

    Oeuf quake

    Bill Granger's cracking egg recipes
    Terry Venables: Wayne Rooney is roaring again and the world knows that England are back

    Terry Venables column

    Wayne Rooney is roaring again and the world knows that England are back
    Michael Calvin: Abject leadership is allowing football’s age-old sores to fester

    Abject leadership is allowing football’s age-old sores to fester

    Those at the top are allowing the same issues to go unchallenged, says Michael Calvin