Bucks church added to national 'at risk' list

St. Mary's Ludgershall

Published by Dan Gooding at 1:36pm 8th November 2018.

A Buckinghamshire church has been added to the Historic England 'at risk' list this morning.

St. Mary's in Ludgershall is in a really bad way, with roofing and belfry decay.

The nave, porch and north and south aisles were re-roofed and the decaying roof structure repaired.

Repair work to the tower roof, tower stonework, repointing, rainwater goods and drainage also now completed. 

Both phases were supported by Historic England/Heritage Lottery Fund Repair Grant for Places of Worship scheme. It is in poor condition and in slow decay.

The timber belfry structure is now suffering decay as a result of water ingress through open joints and needs repair.

An application to the Heritage Lottery Fund Grants for Places of Worship was made in 2017.

Historic England say no buildings have been taken off their list in Bucks this year.

Elsewhere...

In the South East, 18 historic buildings and sites have been newly identified as at risk in 2018.

These include: the former Chapel to Bradwell Abbey in Milton Keynes which has a leaking roof that is endangering the medieval paintings, the ruins of St Nicholas's College in Wallingford, Oxfordshire because of weathered masonry and the former Judges lodgings known as Stone House in Maidstone which has damp and structural problems.

There are 16 historic buildings and sites that have been saved in the South East in 2018.

These include: the Parish Church of St Nicholas, West Thorney in West Sussex following repairs to the East gable and windows, Camber Castle in East Sussex after conservation work to stabilise loose fabric and replace eroded bricks, Asthall Barrow in Oxfordshire after the clearing of trees and scrub and the Church of St George in Ivychurch in the Folkestone and Hythe district of Kent after repairs to the intricately carved west window using Kentish Ragstone.

20 years of the Heritage at Risk Register

This year HE are celebrating 20 years of the Heritage at Risk Register, Historic England's tool for shining a light on the listed buildings and places in England that need most help.

Looking back over the last 20 years, huge progress has been made in saving our heritage and giving it new uses - more than two thirds of entries on the original 1998 Register for England have been rescued.

Many of the remaining third of entries from that 1998 Register have seen great progress despite being the hardest cases to solve.

HE say achieving this much in 20 years has depended upon sheer dogged determination by local communities, charities, owners and partners.

Historic England's technical advice, craft skills, grant aid and creative negotiation have all been needed to deliver people's vision for how these places could be used.

Places of Worship

Historic England welcomes that more Places of Worship have been removed from the Register than added, but with 96 new entries across England believes that support for our Places of Worship is still crucial. In the South East, 12 places of worship have gone off the Register in 2018 and nine have gone on.

Alison McQuaid, Acting Heritage at Risk Principal for Historic England in the South East said:

"Over the past 20 years we have used the Heritage at Risk Register to highlight places in need of care and attention.

"We have dedicated time, expertise and money to bring cherished places back into use and we are proud to have played our part in saving them from neglect. Despite the successes, other places continue to fall into disrepair.

"They have been added to this year's Register and we will focus our attention on them in the years ahead."

Headline Statistics for the South East:

  • Across the region 16 entries have been removed from the Register, while 18 entries have been added because of concerns about their condition.
  • Over the past year, Historic England has spent £321,354 in grants to help some of the region's best loved and most important historic sites.
  • The Heritage at Risk Register 2018 reveals that in this region:
    • 158 Buildings or Structures - (Grade I and II* listed buildings and structural scheduled monuments) 
    • 91 places of worship, 
    • 141 Archaeology entries (non-structural scheduled monuments), 
    • 25 parks and gardens entries
    • no battlefield entries
    • 4 protected wreck sites
    • and 65 conservation areas 
    • …are at risk of neglect, decay or inappropriate change.
  • In total, there are 484 entries on the region's 2018 Heritage at Risk Register.
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