Churches at risk rise by 50pc in Yorkshire
The number of historic places of worship in Yorkshire in danger of being lost forever has risen by more than 50 per cent this year.
English Heritage has added 22 of the region’s listed holy buildings to its Heritage At Risk register, with a total of 63 now flagged up as under threat of decay.
The derelict Grade I listed Barden Church in the Dales has been made a priority and an options appraisal undertaken with the estate and Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority is due to be completed this year.
An English Heritage spokeswoman said the number on the register had risen following the charity’s focus on places of worship in its 2010 report, which led to more having been surveyed.
The 2012 register, published yesterday, also identifies 91 other Grade I and II* listed buildings and 53 of its conservation areas to be under threat in the county – including Haworth, which has also been made a priority.
“Poor maintenance and cumulative changes are threatening Haworth’s reputation as a high-quality tourist destination,” the report states.
The register also includes 676 scheduled monuments, 53 conservation areas, 13 registered parks and four battlefields at risk in Yorkshire.
Other priorities to be tackled in Yorkshire include the site of the 1461 Battle of Towton, the bloodiest in English history, and the ruined medieval Whorlton Castle, both in North Yorkshire.
In the past year, 56 sites in Yorkshire have been removed from the register and £800,000 has been offered in grants to projects involving 20 others.
“Very few major repair schemes are coming forward are coming forward, because financial margins are tight,” the report warns.
“We will therefore be investing in surveys and viability studies for selected sites, in the hope that this will reduce uncertainty and identify deliverable projects for the future.”
Across the country, 5,831 listed buildings, monuments, archaeological sites, battlefields, shipwrecks, places of worship, conservation areas and landscapes are now on the register. This year’s register shows that 318 Grade I and II* buildings and sites have been saved but 360 heritage structures and places have been added.
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Saturday 25 May 2013
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