English Heritage Reveals Yorkshire Heritage at Risk Register 2014

A 19th century boat hoist built at Goole dock and an iconic part of West Yorkshire's textile heritage are among those vulnerable historic gems added to the Heritage at Risk register in Yorkshire, English Heritage announced today.

West Yorkshire

In West Yorkshire, the launch of this year's Heritage at Risk Register by English Heritage has seen Dalton Mills in Keighley, an iconic local landmark and important piece of Yorkshire's architectural heritage, added to the Register.

Originally listed at grade II, in the last year it has been upgraded to grade II*, and is now included on the Heritage at Risk Register in recognition of the national significance of the building, and its condition following fires in 2011 and 2013. Now under new ownership, the future for Dalton Mill looks hopeful as its restoration continues. Dalton Mills was built and owned by the Craven family from 1866 up to 2004 and in its prime employed over 2000 local people, producing worsted yarn.

Today, partially renovated, the Tower Mill part of the site is almost fully let as offices, and there are plans for New Mill and Genappe Mill including retail, leisure and museum facilities which will open up their beautiful industrial interiors, with their stunning ornamental ironwork, to a new generation of local people.

Heritage at Risk principal in Yorkshire for English Heritage, Craig McHugh said: "Our textile heritage is woven through the landscape of West Yorkshire, whether it's the great factories such as Dalton Mills, cloth trading markets like the First White Cloth Hall in Leeds or the many former textile workers cottages that give such character to many of our most picturesque towns and villages. We are always keen to work with owners and communities that share our belief that this inheritance needs to be passed on to future generations to enjoy and learn from."

Paul Harris, the owner of Dalton Mills says: "The local reaction to the work that we've done in the past year has been incredibly positive and people can see that things are happening at Dalton Mills again. We are still on track to have more commercial space ready to let next year, and now with the support of English Heritage too, we hope that ultimately we can restore the whole of the mill to its former glory and make it the cornerstone of the community that it once was."

Elsewhere, in the oldest quarter of Leeds stands the modest remains of the First White Cloth Hall, one of the area's most historically important buildings which has been on the Register for several years. One of the oldest surviving cloth markets in Yorkshire, its construction in 1711 was critical to the city's development as the centre of the county's textile trade. In recent years the building has declined with successive owners unable to carry through their proposals for repair work. With grant aid from English Heritage, Leeds City Council will soon commission an expert team to unravel the building's history. This will establish what work is needed to save it and how it might be brought back into use as part of the wider regeneration of Kirkgate.

This year has seen great progress at the 'at risk' St Paul's conservation area in Manningham, where the former St Catherine's Home for Cancer and Incurables, a 19th century hospice, has been brought back into use as 16 homes and apartments. The conversion was funded by the Homes and Communities Agency and the City of Bradford Metropolitan Council. A grant from English Heritage helped to conserve its beautiful leaded glasswork, Westmorland slate roof and stunning spire.

Wakefield's former Crown Court House, a stunning grade I listed building in the centre of Wakefield, is on the 'at risk' Register and in urgent need of roof and structural repairs. Wakefield Council has played an active role in securing the future of the building by taking over ownership earlier this year and are now planning roof repairs in 2015, followed by complete restoration. They are also in discussions with a regional public sector organisation about occupying the building.

Places of Worship

This year's Register is the most comprehensive to date, after a thorough review of all listed places of worship in England over the past year. The good news is that 6% of places of worship are 'at risk', a lower number than predicted. Of those places of worship considered 'at risk', congregations will face a combination of failing roofs, broken gutters and downpipes and damage to high level stonework, huge challenges requiring not only large amounts of funding but determination and know how. In a success story for the region, this year sees the removal of a remarkable West Yorkshire church from the Register, following repairs funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

St Wilfrid, Leeds is a 1930s church in the Arts & Crafts style, the last work of renowned architect A. Randall Wells, its construction funded by Sunderland shipbuilder Sir John Priestman. Today, repaired and returned to its original beauty the church can once again act as a focus for the local community and has already hosted a flower festival this summer, with hopes that it will soon be the venue of choice for music concerts and art exhibitions. Also in Leeds, the former Potternewton Park Mansion, built in 1817 by a local wool merchant, has been a Sikh Gurdwara since 2006 and is on the 'at risk' Register this year, though its future looks hopeful with a five year renovation plan in place.

North Yorkshire

In North Yorkshire, key features of Castle Howard's exceptional landscape are among those vulnerable historic gems included on the Heritage at Risk Register in North Yorkshire, English Heritage announced today.

The fortress-like Stray Walls and the stately avenue of lime trees are two of the features 'at risk' in Castle Howard's awe-inspiring landscape. English Heritage has been working closely with the estate and Natural England to find solutions for the 'at risk' elements of the landscape to ensure that this special site can continue to be enjoyed by the thousands who visit every year.

Heritage at Risk principal in Yorkshire for English Heritage, Craig McHugh said: "Castle Howard is a beautiful and well-loved estate but like an antique piece of jewellery there are a few stones that need re-setting. Promising progress is being made with work grant-aided by English Heritage underway on the Pyramid on St Anne's Hill as well as the Stray Walls and funding from Natural England will lead to a management plan to conserve the peaceful lime tree avenue. We will continue to work closely with all parties involved to ensure that this North Yorkshire gem is removed from the Heritage at Risk Register".

In the North York Moors National Park, the Monument Management Scheme jointly funded by English Heritage and the National Park Authority has had continuing success. The scheme involves groups of volunteers, farmers, The Forestry Commission and Natural England all working together to reduce the number of scheduled monuments 'at risk', from ancient barrows to lead mines. This diverse team take on bracken control, scrub clearance, earthwork repair, as well as monitoring monuments affected by badgers and surveying sites threatened by coastal erosion. The scheme has already meant that the number of 198 ancient monuments deemed 'at risk' in 2009 has now been reduced to 70 and this figure will be reduced further by 2015. This vital work is being undertaken by passionate and committed individuals, determined to save their local heritage and secure the future enjoyment of the Moors' history.

Places of Worship

Following the thorough investigation into Places of Worship, we have identified that 14 places of worship in the York Diocese need attention so have been added to the Heritage at Risk Register. Experts from English Heritage have already begun contacting church officials and local communities to offer advice on repairs and funding. With support from English Heritage and grant-aid from the Heritage Lottery Fund, 18 Places of Worship have been removed from this year's Register including the elegant Church of St Nicholas in Ganton which dates back to the 13th century.

Local volunteers will be playing a big part in the next stage of English Heritage's project to encourage surveys of Grade II buildings to see how many are 'at risk' and why. The City of York Council and York University will be working together to train, support and supervise local volunteers to survey buildings in the city and its surrounding villages. They'll be testing the online survey tool English Heritage is developing to record the building's condition. These test projects are preparing the ground for hundreds of volunteers across the country to take part in the nationwide survey in Spring 2015.

South Yorkshire

In South Yorkshire, a pair of historic monuments linked to the area's historic metal trades have been repaired and given a secure future, thanks to joint work and funding by the East Peak Innovation Partnership, English Heritage and LEADER.

The news comes today, with the publication of the 2014 Heritage at Risk Register by English Heritage. The monuments rescued and removed include forges, tilt hammers and a blast furnace, each one now a permanent reminder of the region's proud tradition of metal working. Rockley Blast Furnace and Engine House near Barnsley are relics of the region's ancient iron production industry - the blast furnace built in 1698 to smelt iron ore and the engine house in the 19th century to pump water from the nearby iron works. Both are now repaired and communicate to visitors the central role the area played in the industrial revolution.

Wortley Top Forge near Sheffield, the oldest surviving heavy iron forge in the world dating to 1640 and best known for producing wrought iron railway axles between 1840 and 1910, is now being restored to its 1900s condition, with repairs to the weir and sluice complete. The mill pond has also been de-silted allowing more water through the wheel. With this water management system now functioning well and the forge buildings in good condition, the Forge is now safely off the 'at risk' list.

Heritage at Risk principal in Yorkshire for English Heritage, Craig McHugh said: "The Sheffield region is world-famous for its metal trades, throughout the city and its surrounding landscape are a fascinating range of historically important sites stretching back in time over five centuries. This is an extraordinary inheritance and we are delighted with the way in which the East Peak Innovation Partnership has engaged local people in caring for their heritage."

Across Sheffield English Heritage's Heritage at Risk team in Yorkshire has also worked alongside the City Council to identify the best of the City's historic buildings and find ways to adapt and reuse them. Co-ordinated efforts have paid off in areas where the City Council has used its planning powers to force building owners to take action to repair historic buildings, and English Heritage has offered support by way of grant aid for survey and repair work. The 'at risk' Kelham Island conservation area in the industrial heart of the city, is one of the region's key success stories where Council action has secured urgent repairs to the Former Williams Brothers Crucible Workshop on Green Lane and the rear range of Globe Works on Penistone Road.

With the launch of the 2014 Register, English Heritage has added Kelham Island to its list of priority sites for the year ahead - to build on the successes of the last year and to focus attention on remaining derelict buildings. English Heritage has already funded survey work at Green Lane Works and Eagle Works, to assist Yorkshire-based developer Citu with its creative plans for a sustainable development of low carbon homes and creative spaces, shops, cafes and galleries within the historic buildings.

Heritage at Risk principal in Yorkshire for English Heritage, Craig McHugh said:  "Over the last twelve months we have worked closely with the Council, Citu and the Homes and Communities Agency to lay the foundations for a recovery in the fortunes of Kelham Island's historic buildings.  A year from now we expect substantial repairs will have been completed at Eagle Works, proposals will have been brought forward for the re-use of Green Lane Works and a new community of residents at the Little Kelham development will have brought the area to life".

Places of Worship

In a success story for the county, off the Register this year is St Leonards Church in Thrybergh. Now fully repaired, its remarkable collection of monuments dating back to the 14th century commemorating two local families are soon to be conserved following grants from English Heritage.

East Yorkshire

In East Yorkshire, a unique part of the area's industrial heritage has been added to the list of 'at risk' historic sites around the county, announced English Heritage today, with the publication of the Heritage at Risk Register for 2014.

Boat Hoist Number 5, originally one of five hoists operating at Goole Dock, is today the only remaining example of its type in the country. Designed by William Bartholomew, the hoist was built in 1862 to transfer coal arriving at the port in barges from across Yorkshire onto waiting ships. Until then, the cargo was moved laboriously by hand: Bartholomew's solution was to create the hoists which could lift an entire barge and tip the contents into the ships' hold. These specially designed barges came to be known as 'Tom Puddings' because of their domed shape when laden with coal, resembling a line of black puddings or even Yorkshire puddings.

The remaining hoist is a monumental structure, today owned by Associated British Ports, which needs refurbishment and ongoing repair if it is to survive. As well as an on-going programme of repairs, Associated British Ports are undertaking survey works of the hoist to clarify which elements need attention and all those involved are committed to making sure this important part of the region's past is protected for the future. With the right backing, Yorkshire Waterways Museum, who leases the land around the hoist, hopes to continue to open the site to the public, where it is still possible to see a 'Tom Pudding' barge, alongside information telling the stories of the barge families of East Yorkshire and the industrial history of the area.

Heritage at Risk principal in Yorkshire for English Heritage, Craig McHugh said: "In one structure Yorkshire's coal mining, canal and maritime heritage are drawn together, that's what makes the Boat Lift so fascinating. Innovative engineering solutions are always inspiring so it's really important that this unique survivor is conserved to fuel the creativity of future generations of engineers."

Elsewhere in the region, English Heritage is celebrating the new lease of life now possible for some of East Yorkshire's medieval treasures.

The former rectory at Adlingfleet has this year been removed from the Register, repaired thanks to the tireless work and ingenuity of its owners, who have even learnt to work with traditional lime mortar in order to repair the brick and cobble floor of the building themselves. With funding from LEADER and English Heritage the former rectory has a completely new future as a resource for community events.  The owners continue to improve the site, and are now recreating a medieval garden.

Paull Holme Tower, is the only remaining building of the medieval manor of Paull, the seat of the Paull family since the 14th century. Damaged during the Civil War, and partly demolished in the 1830s, the remaining tower dates to the 15th century. The site remains 'at risk', but in the hands of a dedicated and active owner, the future looks more hopeful. English Heritage grant aid has allowed urgent works to stabilise the structure to be completed and a further phase of grant is putting together a project which will lead to the repair of the tower so that it will stand for many years to come. The owner has encouraged locals and all those interested in the site to engage with its unique history by holding open days. Wressle Castle, built in 1380 for Sir Thomas Percy, is being repaired and conserved following a grant from Natural England, the Country Houses Foundation and English Heritage.

Places of Worship

A success story for the county is St Mary's Church in Watton which has been removed from the Register following repair works. This East Yorkshire gem, built in the 16th century, is thought to have been constructed from materials salvaged from the adjacent Watton Abbey following the Dissolution of the Monasteries.

The Heritage at Risk headlines for Yorkshire are:

  • A third of Yorkshire's Heritage at Risk has been removed from the 2010 Register;
  • This year, English Heritage has offered nearly £900,000 in grants to 67 'at risk' sites across Yorkshire;
  • 95 archaeology entries have been removed this year; and 14 have been added;
  • 5 buildings or structures have been removed from the Register with a secure future this year; and 8 have been added;
  • 63.1% of buildings or structures (111) on the Yorkshire baseline 1999 Register have been removed because their future has been secured;
  • In Yorkshire, 13 parks and gardens are on the Register, and 1, Bretton Hall, home to the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, has been removed this year because the future of the landscape has been secured;
  • 18 places of worship have been removed from the Yorkshire Register following repair work, and 47 have been added now we have a better understanding of their condition as a result of our Places of Worship survey.

For more information on heritage successfully rescued and removed from the Register this year please see the Yorkshire fact sheet.

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