Eastbourne Pier, a Cornish tin mine and the shipwreck Hazardous are among the sites to be added to the English Heritage at Risk Register this year.
Geevor Tin Mine in the West of Cornwall. © Cornwall Archaeological Unit, Cornwall Council
First established 15 years ago, the English Heritage at Risk Register provides an annual review of the health of England’s built heritage and the sites most at risk of being lost through neglect, decay or development. The register for 2014 has been the most comprehensive to date and includes listed buildings, places of worship, scheduled monuments, industrial sites, conservation areas, parks and gardens, protected wrecks and battlefields.
Iconic Eastbourne Pier, which is one of the most important of its kind in the country, was added to the Register in the summer after the devastating fire which engulfed about a third of the structure and destroyed the landward arcade building earlier this year. Geevor Tin Mine in the West of Cornwall has also been included on the list; built in the 18th century and still operational until 1991, it is the largest and most complete surviving tin mine in Europe. Other sites now on the register include Ironbridge Gorge’s Bedlam Furnaces, where the nearby world-famous bridge was forged, and the shipwreck Hazardous, an 18th-century British warship, beached in Bracklesham Bay, Sussex, during a storm in 1706.
English Heritage has also identified five more buildings ready for redevelopment and reuse, including a Police and Fire Station on London Road, Manchester; Price and Kensington Teapot Works in Stoke on Trent and the State Cinema in Thurrock, Essex. All of the sites have been on the Register for at least a decade and it is to these cases that English Heritage wants to draw significant attention.
English Heritage Chief Executive, Simon Thurley, said: “The next few years will be crucial for At Risk sites. Although there has been a reduction in the number of sites on the Register, more than a third of buildings that were on the national Register when it first began in 1999 are still there now. We can’t give up on all these incredibly important historic buildings; getting them back in use will lift the blight from historic areas, bringing back in to use really important buildings and giving people a sense of pride in where they live. As the economy starts to improve and the demand for development increases, we need to push these buildings forward and find a future for them.”