A Brutalist church, Grade II* listed lighthouse and Napoleonic lookout post are among the 327 additions to Historic England’s ‘At Risk’ list – a yearly register of endangered buildings.
Birmingham’s 1968 Church of St Thomas Moore, designed by architect Richard Gilbert Scott, is succumbing to a roof leak that is causing the concrete structure to crack. Meanwhile, Sunderland’s Grade II*-listed Old Pier Lighthouse and the 1720 Naze Tower in Essex are beset by similar damp problems that could destroy them forever.
‘The very things that make our regions special are the things most at risk,’ said Duncan Wilson, Historic England’s chief executive. ‘If they’re lost, then a sense of that region is lost too.’
Ancient burial mounds, also known as barrows, are the most common type of ‘At Risk’ structure, making up 15.6% of the register. Churches came next, amounting to 6.5%.
These buildings are facing an even greater predicament, according to Historic England, because of the rising costs of conservation, with the average price of repair being £500,000 more than the value of the structure itself.
Historic sites are taken off the list when they have been ‘rescued’. This year, the Grade II* 76 Dean Street – now a Soho House – and Britain’s oldest surviving roller coaster at Dreamland, Margate, are among more than 600 places to be removed from the register.
Says Wilson: ‘Together we can safeguard our most precious places and buildings for future generations.’