Five UK sites on 'watch list' of endangered monuments
Tuesday 06 October 2009
Graveyards in Edinburgh which house the remains of some of Scotland’s greatest historical figures, from Adam Smith to David Hume, are in urgent need of a makeover, according to a charity dedicated to preserving historic monuments.
A group of five burial grounds in the centre of the Scottish capital - Greyfriars Kirkyard, Canongate Kirkyard, St Cuthberts Kirkyard, Old Calton Burial Ground and New Calton Burial Ground - have "deteriorated" because of "years of exposure to nature's elements, vandalism, and neglect”, according to the World Monuments Fund, based in New York.
Yesterday the fund placed the graveyards on its "watch list" of what it considers to be the 100 most endangered historic sites in the world, published every two years.
This year's list (actually of 93 locations) include temples, churches, rice terraces, walled cities, historic centres, and cultural landscapes around the globe. Among them are five sites from Britain and another from Ireland, ranging from Dudley Zoo to Sheerness Dockyard.
The Edinburgh burial grounds head the list, the fund saying they "give significant insight into the history, culture, and society of Scotland from the early 17th to the late 19th century". Among the many figures of the Scottish Enlightenment at rest there are Adam Smith (1729-90), the father of modern economics, who has a moderately ornate monument in Canongate Kirkyard, and David Hume (1711-76), the philosopher and historian, who has a splendid circular tomb in Old Calton.
The other sites put on this year’s "watch list" are the Carlisle Memorial Methodist Church, Belfast, Northern Ireland; the Tecton Buildings, Dudley Zoo, West Midlands; Sheerness Dockyard, Isle of Sheppey, Kent; and St John the Evangelist Parish Church, Shobdon, Herefordshire. The Irish entry is an 18th-century mansion, Russborough, in County Wicklow.
Listing the sites and structures does not mean that they automatically receive financial help from the fund; rather it is hoped that the publicity may be a catalyst for local and national restoration efforts.
The Carlisle Memorial Methodist Church was home to one of the largest Methodist congregations in Belfast, but has now been derelict for close to 20 years and has suffered extensive physical degradation. It is located at a major interface between Catholic and Protestant populations and a result, the building is now perceived as neutral territory in a deeply polarised area.
The Tecton Buildings at Dudley Zoo, constructed between 1935 and 1937, are animal display houses made from reinforced concrete, some of which are no longer considered suitable for housing animals. But they are among the most important examples of modernist architecture and in urgent need of attention.
Sheerness Dockyard was built in 1815. At present it is a commercial port, but the most significant parts of the site are unused and decaying. Elsewhere the area currently most unaltered and complete - the Georgian Terraces - is marked for redevelopment against the wishes of local people.St John the Evangelist Parish Church in Shobdon in Herefordshire was originally 14th-century but was rebuilt in the mid 18th century and is now widely regarded as an outstanding example of the mid-18th-century Rococo Gothic style, largely influenced by Horace Walpole’s Strawberry Hill in Twickenham. But the building needs restoring.
Russborough in County Wicklow is an 18th century Palladian mansion overlooking a large park that falls to the valley of the River Liffey. The park, one of the earliest designed landscapes in Ireland, is in need of restoration.
World Monuments Fund: 2010 World Monuments Watch
AFGHANISTAN Old City of Herat
ARGENTINA Buenos Aires Historic Center
Teatro Colón, Buenos Aires
ARMENIA Aghjots Monastery, Garni Village
AUSTRIA Wiener Werkbundsiedlung, Vienna
BAHRAIN Suq al-Qaysariya, Muharraq
BELGIUM Sanatorium Joseph Lemaire, Tombeek
BHUTAN Phajoding, Thimphu
BOLIVIA Convento-Museo Santa Teresa, Cochabamba
Misiones Jesuíticas de Chiquitos
CHILE Churches of Arica Parinacota
COLOMBIA San Fernando and San José Fortresses,
Cartagena de Indias
Santa Fe de Antioquia Historic Center
COMOROS Ujumbe Palace, Mutsamudu
CYPRUS Historic Walled City of Famagusta
ECUADOR Todos Santos Complex, Cuenca
EGYPT New Gourna Village, Luxor, West Bank
Old Mosque of Shali Fortress, Siwa Oasis
FRANCE Hôtel de Monnaies, Villemagne l’Argentière
Parish Church of Saint-Martin-des-Puits
GREECE Churches of Lesvos
GUATEMALA Kaminaljuyu, Guatemala City
HAITI Gingerbread Houses, Port-au-Prince
INDIA Chiktan Castle, Kargil
Dechen Namgyal Gonpa, Nyoma
Historic Civic Centre of Shimla
Kothi, Qila Mahmudabad
IRAQ Al-Hadba’ Minaret, Mosul
IRELAND Russborough, Blessington, County Wicklow
ISRAEL Old City of Lod
OLD CITY OF JERUSALEM Cathedral of Saint James
ITALY Historic Center of Craco
Ponte Lucano, Tivoli
Villa of San Gilio, Oppido Lucano
JAPAN Kyoto Machiya Townhouses
JORDAN Damiya Dolmen Field, Jordan Valley
KAZAKHSTAN Vernacular Architecture of the Kazakh Steppe
LAO PEOPLE’S DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC Hintang Archaeological Landscape, Houameuang District
Tam Ting, Nam Kong River at Ban Pak Ou
MEXICO Acueducto de Tembleque, Zempoala to Otumba
Las Pozas, Xilitla
Templo de San Bartolo Soyaltepec
Templo de San Felipe Tindaco, Tlaxiaco
Templo y Convento de los Santos Reyes, Convento de la Communidad, Metztitlán
REPUBLIC OF MOLDOVA Assumption of Our Lady Church, Causeni
MOROCCO Lixus, Larache
PAKISTAN Petroglyphs in the Diamer-Basha Dam, Area, Northern Areas
Shikarpoor Historic City Center
PANAMA Colón Historic Center
Corozal Cemetery, Panama City
Mount Hope Cemetery, Colón
PARAGUAY La Santísima Trinidad del Paraná, Trinidad
PERU Chankillo, San Rafael District
Jesuit Churches of San José and San, Javier, Nazca
Pachacamac Sanctuary, Lurín
Santuario Histórico Machu Picchu, Cuzco
Tambo Colorado, Humay
San Francisco de Asís de Marcapata
Santa Cruz de Jerusalén de Juli
PHILIPPINES Nuestra Señora de la Asunción Church, Municipality of Santa Maria
Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras, Ifugao
San Sebastian Basilica, Manila
ROMANIA Fortified Churches of Southern Transylvania, Sibiu
RUSSIAN FEDERATION Church of the Icon of the Mother of God of the Sign, Podolsk District
SLOVAKIA Lietava Castle
SOUTH AFRICA Wonderwerk Cave, Ga-Segonyana/Kuruman
SPAIN Historic Landscape of Sevilla
Historic Landscape of Toledo
Numancia, Soria and Garray
Old Town of Ávila
Route of Santiago de Compostela
Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família, Barcelona
SRI LANKA Dutch Fort in Batticaloa
TANZANIA Pangani Historic Town
UGANDA Wamala King’s Tombs, Nansana, Wakiso District
UNITED KINGDOM Carlisle Memorial Methodist Church, Belfast
Edinburgh Historic Graveyards
St. John the Evangelist Parish Church, Shobdon
Tecton Buildings at Dudley Zoological Gardens
UNITED STATES The Atlanta-Fulton Central Public Library, Atlanta, Georgia
The Bridges of the Merritt Parkway, Connecticut
Cultural Landscape of Hadley, Massachusetts
Miami Marine Stadium, Florida
Phillis Wheatley Elementary School, New Orleans, Louisiana
St. Louis Cemetery No. 2, New Orleans, Louisiana
Taliesin, Spring Green, Wisconsin
Taliesin West, Scottsdale, Arizona
Taos Pueblo, New Mexico
UZBEKISTAN Desert Castles of Ancient Khorezm, Republic of Karakalpakstan
VENEZUELA Facultad de Arquitectura y Urbanismo, Universidad Central de Venezuela, Caracas
Parque del Este, Caracas
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