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Hampshire's historic buildings and monuments at risk
THEY are the ancient buildings, monuments and sites demonstrating Hampshire’s rich cultural heritage.
Rugged forts, spectacular churches, ghostly barrows and abandoned shipyards across the county form the bedrock of our communal, spiritual and industrial history.
They unlock secrets of our past and shape our towns and cities today.
But nearly 100 of the county’s precious sites are on the brink of destruction and could be lost forever unless more is done to restore and protect them.
That was the warning from English Heritage today as it released its latest Heritage at Risk 2013 Register.
The annual report lists the country’s most endangered historical sites which are at risk of neglect, decay or inappropriate change.
There are 95 sites on the register in Hampshire with five new structures added to the list and five others removed from last year’s list due to improvements to their condition.
Wreck site The list includes seven Grade I listed buildings and places of worship, 16 Grade II listed buildings and places of worship, 13 structural scheduled monuments, 42 scheduled monuments, three registered parks and gardens, 13 conservation areas and a protected wreck site.
In the register, the condition of the area was described as “very bad”, although it did fall into English Heritage’s “improving” category.
Among the buildings deemed to be at risk in the conservation area are the Century Star Hotel in High Street, which dates back to the 19th century, and the Red Lion public house, also in High Street, which dates back all the way to 1148.
But city council-owned buildings within the conservation area, such as the Bargate, city walls and Holyrood Church, are not deemed to be at risk.
City council leisure chief Matt Tucker said: “I’m very much prepared to engage with the people who own these buildings to see if we can help fund a solution to get them off the register.
“Obviously at the moment the council is not in a position to be able to directly fund the work, but we can potentially help them make a really good case in bids for funding. We have to think very carefully about how we look after our heritage, as it’s very important.”
Other sites still at danger include the Chapel Mills American Wharf in Elm Street, a former steam mill built in 1781 to produce ship’s biscuits.
St Deny’s Church in Southampton, which is about to be refurbished is also at risk while vegetation is damaging Fort Elson in Gosport.
But there was good news for the Monastic Barn at Fernhill Farm in Mill Lane, Titchfield, as it is deemed no longer at risk after repairs by a new owner.
The Tide Mill in High Street, Beaulieu, has also been removed from the list following a £250,000 restoration of the 18th Century structure after an arson attack but the 13th Century remains of the Chapter House Arcade in nearby Beaulieu Abbey are suffering from vegetation growth and cracking.
Dr Andy Brown, planning and conservation director for English Heritage in the South East said: “We are proud of our successes in removing historic sites from the register as we and our partners take care to keep attention focused on heritage at risk.
“While some of our most important sites have seen huge strides forward towards repair and reuse recently there is still a lot left to do in order to preserve the historic buildings and places in the region for future generations.”
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