Monumental poll returns to save crumbling masterpieces

It is the competition where a workhouse is as likely a winner as a castle for a king. Restoration, the BBC series that raised millions of pounds last year to rescue a piece of crumbling heritage, returns next month with a new list of historic sites bidding to be saved.

From the UK's last remaining open-pan salt works, near Northwich in Cheshire, to the world's first radar station at Bawdsey in Suffolk, 21 architectural gems will be battling to win the public's affection.

A final vote later in the summer will decide which of them receives a cash windfall raised from various sources, including the telephone voting lines.

Last year's winner, the Victoria Baths in Manchester, was given £3.5m thanks to 2.3 million calls and a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Griff Rhys Jones, the comedian, heritage campaigner and Restoration presenter, said the first BBC 2 series had been an "enormous success", attracting nearly three million viewers.

He said: "People from completely different walks of life watched it, paid attention and voted. Lots of people were saying things like, 'My husband has never, ever voted for anything on television before, but he insisted that we vote on this'."

This year's shortlist is an eclectic mix of the architectural history.

The Llanfyllin workhouse in Powys, mid Wales, is a Grade II-listed building from 1838. A lock-keeper's cottage in Newforge, Belfast, is the last remaining in public ownership on the Lagan navigation canal.

Cardigan Castle in west Wales is where Henry VII stayed during his march to the Battle of Bosworth Field in 1485 and Sheffield Manor Lodge in Sheffield is where Mary Queen of Scots was held for 14 years.

One of the most dramatic contenders is Strawberry Hill at Twickenham, Middlesex, which is so important to architectural history it appears on the World Monuments Fund watch-list of most endangered sites. It is a Gothic villa designed by Horace Walpole, the son of Britain's first prime minister, which helped inspire the Gothic revival.

Sherborne House in Sherborne, Dorset, is a Palladian palace which was the country retreat of the 19th-century Shakespearean actor Charles William Macready, who once had Charles Dickens as an overnight guest.

The South Caradon mine in Bodmin was one of Cornwall's largest copper mines with 38 miles of underground tunnels until its closure in 1890 since when it has been virtually untouched.

And another contender from the West Country will be Castle House in Bridgwater, Somerset, a rare surviving example of an early concrete house. It was built in 1851 by a local brick-maker.

The series stars on 8 May, with detailed programmes broadcast from July.

Restoration was warmly welcomed last year by heritage organisations who are alarmed at the state of Britain's built heritage. The UK has lost a building or monument every day since the end of the Second World War.

Portencross Castle, Portencross, Ayrshire

Where Robert Stewart, the grandson of Robert the Bruce, is thought to have stopped as he travelled to be crowned Robert II of Scotland, the first Stewart king. Now on the verge of collapse

Armagh Gaol, Co Armagh

Northern Ireland's oldest prison, it was built between 1780 and 1852 and regarded as "one of the most advanced houses of detention in the kingdom". Closed in 1986, it is Grade A-listed

Newstead Abbey, Ravenshead, Nottinghamshire

Best known as the ancestral home of the poet Lord Byron, who featured it as "Norman Abbey" in his epic Don Juan.Originally an Augustinian priory founded by Henry II in about 1165

Old Grammar School and Saracens Head, Kings Norton, Birmingham

Kings Norton is dominated by tower blocks, but has a number of historic buildings, including a 15th-century timber-framed school

THE 21 BUILDINGS

Portencross Castle, Ayrshire

Knockando Wool Mill, Morayshire

Hall of Clestrain, Orkney

Lock-Keeper's Cottage, Belfast

Armagh Gaol, Armagh

The Playhouse, Londonderry

Cardigan Castle, Cardigan

Llanfyllin Workhouse, Powys

Workingman's Institute & Memorial Hall, Newbridge

The Lion Salt Works, Cheshire

Gayle Mill, Gayle

Sheffield Manor Lodge, Sheffield

Newstead Abbey, Nottinghamshire

Bawdsey Transmitter Block, Bawdsey

Old Grammar School & Saracen's Head, Kings Norton

Strawberry Hill, Twickenham

Severndroog Castle, Greenwich

Archbishop's Palace, Charing

Castle House, Somerset

South Cardon Mine, Bodmin, Cornwall

Sherborne House in Dorset

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Voices
Homeless Veterans charity auction: Cook with Angela Hartnett and Neil Borthwick at Merchants Tavern
charity appeal
Sport
Amir Khan is engaged in a broader battle than attempting to win a fight with Floyd Mayweather
boxing Exclusive: Amir Khan reveals plans to travel to Pakistan
Arts and Entertainment
Caroline Flack became the tenth winner of Strictly Come Dancing
tvReview: 'Absolutely phenomenal' Xtra Factor presenter wins Strictly Come Dancing final
Sport
Ched Evans in action for Sheffield United in 2012
footballRonnie Moore says 'he's served his time and the boy wants to play football'
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Finance Director

£65000 - £80000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Finance Director required to jo...

Recruitment Genius: Medico-Legal Assistant

£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a unique opportunity fo...

Ashdown Group: (PHP / Python) - Global Media firm

£50000 per annum + 26 days holiday,pension: Ashdown Group: A highly successful...

The Jenrick Group: Quality Inspector

£27000 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: A Quality Technician...

Day In a Page

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
Liverpool vs Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers is fighting for his reputation

Rodgers fights for his reputation

Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick