Historic England’s Annual Report Reveals 159 New Additions
Every year, Historic England releases its Heritage at Risk Register. This is a comprehensive assessment of the state of England’s historic buildings and sites. In the latest update, 159 new additions grace the register, highlighting structures at risk of neglect, decay, or inappropriate development.
Unravelling History: Holbeche House in the West Midlands
Among the newly added sites is Holbeche House in the West Midlands, where the infamous Gunpowder Plot unfolded. This historical gem now faces the threat of neglect, urging preservation efforts to safeguard its rich past.
Dickensian Inspiration: Great White Horse Hotel in Suffolk
Another notable inclusion is the Great White Horse Hotel in Suffolk, inspiring Charles Dickens’ inaugural novel, The Pickwick Papers. The peril of neglect looms over this iconic building, emphasising the urgent need for conservation measures.
Rescued Gems: 203 Sites Saved and Removed
While the register expands, it’s crucial to acknowledge the success stories. This year witnessed the removal of 203 historic sites from the register, signifying successful rescue missions and secured futures for these cultural treasures.
Current Landscape: 4,871 Entries in 2023
The Heritage at Risk Register for 2023 features a total of 4,871 entries, a reduction of 48 compared to the previous year. Despite the challenges, the commitment to preserving historic buildings remains steadfast.
Duncan Wilson’s Perspective
Reflecting on the report, Historic England’s chief executive, Duncan Wilson, emphasizes the program’s role in drawing attention to sites in dire need. Wilson states, “The Heritage at Risk program shines a light on our historic sites most in need and can help to attract funding and help.”
Celebrating a quarter-century milestone, Wilson expresses pride in the register’s impact, showcasing the successful preservation of numerous places. The ongoing commitment involves engaging local communities in the care and enjoyment of their heritage, ensuring a collective effort to safeguard England’s historical legacy.