English Heritage Trust are to Survey all Grade II Listed Properties Across the UK

All of England’s Grade II listed buildings are to be surveyed by English Heritage for the first time.The body is calling for an “army of volunteers” to determine which of the 345,000 are at risk from neglect.The process is part of the body’s annual heritage risk survey but will take several years. More than 700 buildings were identified as needing attention during pilot programmes.Work has already begun on some structures, such as the medieval Holy Well in Helston in Cornwall.

“For English Heritage it means we will eventually get, for the first time, a complete picture of the condition of all England’s listed heritage,” said Simon Thurley, chief executive of English Heritage. He added: “We can use this information to decide how best to deploy our national expertise to help owners and all those tackling heritage at risk on the ground.”

As part of pilot programmes run across the country, 350 volunteers inspected more than 5,000 Grade II listed buildings. Among those found to be in need of attention were The Ruins of Old Buckingham House, in Shoreham-by-Sea, in West Sussex. The original building, built in 1820, was badly damaged by fire in 1910. English Heritage said the surviving structures were in increasingly poor condition. Volunteers also identified Big Mill in Leek, Staffordshire, Llanthony Provender Mill, in Gloucestershire and the western lock on the Northern By-Pass Channel at Appley Locks, in Lancashire.

In Whitehaven, Cumbria, they picked out the former YMCA building, an 18th century structure vacant for a number of years, as in need of repair.They also singled out the former Methodist Church in the town, which was designed by architect TL Banks. It was built in 1877 but has deteriorated and now stands with broken windows and crumbling stonework, English Heritage said.

Ann Buck, a volunteer in north Norfolk, said: “These buildings are our heritage and the fact that we have lost so many is tragic. English Heritage and the National Trust are the last resort for a lot of them, we are never the owners of such buildings, just the custodians.”

English Heritage said some councils already kept lists of structures and what condition they were in, which the volunteers would help to update. In other areas, they would be asked to create a list from scratch. The number of Grade II structures judged to be in need of some repair is expected to grow as a result.

The project is being launched at the Granary Building in central London – a Grade II building rescued from dereliction as part of the redevelopment of the King’s Cross railway lands. English Heritage said it hoped to begin recruiting for the first full surveys next autumn and asked would-be volunteers to contact its customer services department.

– Taken from:

BBC News

10th October 2013

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-24457052

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