Heritage At Risk 2020 register for Yorkshire dominated by ancient mounds and long barrows due to lockdown surveying restrictions

Ancient barrows and the declining ruins of a lead smelt mill in Yorkshire are among the nation’s treasured historic sites now at risk of being lost forever.

Historic England’s annual heritage register details a mixed picture of ageing industrial ruin and countryside settings overtaken by brambles amid the relentless toll of nature’s claim.

Across Yorkshire 16 sites have this year been saved, from a 17th century corn mill to a medieval path and a Bronze Age barrow, even as nine more are revealed to be under threat.

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Countryside settings dominate today’s Heritage at Risk Register with a focus on sites which could be safely seen, in determining a health check of England’s most valued historic places.

Heritage at Risk 2020. Willy Howe barrow, Wold Newton Road, Burton Fleming, Driffield, Yorkshire. Image: Historic England
Heritage at Risk 2020. Willy Howe barrow, Wold Newton Road, Burton Fleming, Driffield, Yorkshire. Image: Historic England

Progress is being made, Historic England has said, but there is still a “long way to go” to ensuring a brighter future.

“It is the varied tapestry of our historic places in Yorkshire that helps us define who we are,” said Trevor Mitchell, regional director for the national body.

“In testing times such as these, heritage can give us a sense of continuity and bring us comfort.”

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Grant Frew from Great Broughton and Ingleby Greenhow Local History Group who was tenacious in getting this section of trackway protected from motorised transport. The site has been removed from the Register this year. Image: Historic England

There are now 564 settings in Yorkshire on the Risk Register, including 110 buildings or scheduled monuments, 60 places of worship, two battlefields and 53 conservation areas.

Adding sites to the list can help local authorities and communities with pursuing conservation work to restore threatened heritage.

Newly added are round barrows at Ryedale’s Hawnby and Scarborough’s Wykeham, alongside Roppa South Cross at Helmsley and a medieval dyke at Stainton Dale.

Also newly revealed to be at risk of decline or decay is Grinton’s ore hearth lead smelt mill, and Barnsley’s Low Mill furnace.

Heritage at Risk 2020. Coulton Mill, Scackleton Bank, Ryedale, Yorkshire.Aerial view from south showing water wheel on repaired south west elevation. Image: Historic England

Heritage settings such as these have a positive impact on people’s lives, Historic England has said, supporting community resilience and instilling pride.

Investing in such sites which serve as an anchor in troubled times, the body adds, and could contribute to a sustainable recovery for the nation’s communities.

Nationwide, 181 sites have been removed from the register, with an additional 216 added to a list which now totals over 5,000 treasured and at risk settings.

Saved from threat

Among those in Yorkshire deemed to have been saved are a Bronze Age barrow at Driffeld’s Willy Howe, rumoured to be of mythical intrigue.

Legend has it the barrow served as the setting of 12th century folklore, chronicled by William of Newburgh, in which he tells of dancing fairies and a drunken thief. Overgrown with invasive weeks in recent years it became obscured from view, but with grant funding public access has now been restored.

Ryedale’s 17th century Coulton Mill, noted for its rare machinery, had fallen into disrepair as its water wheel became precarious, with the roof in poor condition.

A grant from the Howardian Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the owner’s contribution has seen significant repairs at the Grade ll listed building.

And at Kirby Bank Trod in North Yorkshire a section of 13th century flagstones, forming part of a route used by Cistercian monks but more latterly by trail bikes, has been protected.

Local history groups, campaigning for it to be designated a scheduled monument, have successfully lobbied for a traffic order and worked to repair the damage.

The Globe Works, Sheffield’s earliest surviving cutlery makers, has made “encouraging” progress, according to the register.

Full list of sites in Yorkshire removed from Historic England's Heritage at Risk Register

1. Church of St John the Baptist, Wilberfoss, East Riding of Yorkshire

2. A bowl barrow on Birdsall Wold, 750m east of Aldro Farm, Birdsall, North Yorkshire

3. Round barrow on Yearsley Moor 400m south west of High Lions' Lodge, Yearsley, North Yorkshire

4. Bowl barrow 800m north west of Moor House Farm, Seamer, North Yorkshire

5. Willy Howe round barrow, Thwing / Burton Fleming, East Riding of Yorkshire

6. Round barrow 30m north east of Old Mill House, Stainton Dale, Scarborough, North Yorkshire

7. Church of All Saints, Church Lane, Slingsby, North Yorkshire

8. Church of St Mary, Kirkings Lane, Over Silton, Hambleton, North Yorkshire

9. Kirby Bank Trod, a section of paved trackway extending 400m southwards from just east of The Warren, Kirkby, Hambleton, North Yorkshire

10. Hollins Mine and Bank Top iron calcining kilns, Rosedale West Side / Spaunton / Lastingham, Ryedale, North Yorkshire

11. A bowl barrow on Birdsall Wold, between Birdsall Dale and Vessey Pasture Dale, Birdsall, North Yorkshire

12. Round barrow 40m west of Butcher's Wood, Kepwick, Hambleton, North Yorkshire

13. Round barrow 250m north of Cowesby Wood, Kepwick, Hambleton, North Yorkshire

14. Coulton Mill, Scackleton Lane, Coulton, North Yorkshire

15. All Saints Church, Cherry Avenue, Newton-on-Ouse, North Yorkshire

16. A bowl barrow on Birdsall Wold, 300m north east of Vessey Pasture Farm, Birdsall, North Yorkshire

Full list of sites added to the Heritage at Risk Register in Yorkshire

1. Two round barrows east of Wild Middle Gill, Hawnby, Ryedale, North Yorkshire

2. Round barrow 500m east of Silver Hill Farm, Hawnby, Ryedale, North Yorkshire

3. Southern of two round barrows known as Row Howes, 680m south east of East Moor Farm, Wykeham, Scarborough, North Yorkshire

4. Roppa South Cross on Carr Cote Ridge 1100m WSW of Piethorn, Helmsley, Ryedale, North Yorkshire

5. Grinton ore hearth lead smelt mill, flue, fuel store and associated earthworks, Grinton, North Yorkshire

6. Northern of two round barrows known as Row Howes, 640m south east of East Moor Farm, Wykeham, Scarborough, North Yorkshire

7. Medieval dyke known as War Dike, Stainton Dale, Scarborough, North Yorkshire

8. Low Mill furnace, Barnsley, South Yorkshire

9. Round barrow 150m north east of Silver Hill Farm, Hawnby, Ryedale, North Yorkshire


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James Mitchinson