5 Iconic Sites Added to this Year’s Heritage at Risk Register

1. Eastbourne Pier, Sussex

One of the most important piers of its kind in the country, Eastbourne Pier was added to the Heritage at Risk Register this summer after a devastating fire engulfed about a third of the structure and destroyed the landward arcade building. English Heritage is giving expert advice on the rebuild and is pleased the eastern walkway has now reopened helping local businesses at the end of the pier.

2. Shipwreck Hazardous, West Sussex coast

An important protected wreck site added to the Register is Hazardous – a 54-gun British Third Rate warship which was beached in Bracklesham Bay during a storm in 1706. The winter storms of 2013/14 have significantly reduced the layers of sand that were covering much of the wreck. Now the ship’s artefacts and armaments, such as cannon trucks, are being exposed to increased deterioration and decay.

3. Bedlam Furnaces, Ironbridge Gorge, Shropshire

Bedlam Furnace (C) Ironbridge Gorge Museum trust

Built into the valley side in Ironbridge, and believed to be where the world famous bridge was cast, Bedlam Furnaces are new on the Register this year. Part of the monument has become unstable and is currently supported by scaffolding. Plans for safeguarding this important survivor of the country’s industrial past include protection by a roof, which will give shelter from the weather and allow the structure to stabilise.

4. Geevor Tin Mine, Cornwall

Geevor Mine Collage

Geevor Tin Mine, in far west Cornwall, is the largest and most complete surviving tin mine in Britain and Europe, remaining much as it was when the mine closed in 1991. The 25 acre site includes a large number of 18th to 20th century structures ranging from small stone buildings through to large industrial complexes. Pendeen Community Trust, which opened the site to the public in 1992, have sensitively developed the mine as a museum and attraction including an underground tour, modern mining exhibition and a miners’ drying room, recreated to appear as it would have with a shift of miners at work. The site also employs local people.

The Scheduled Monument has been added to the register due to the increasing burden of routine maintenance, the sheer scale of major repairs needed and the urgent need to conserve the buildings, machinery and collections. Unfortunately, paying visitors are not enough to provide more than a fraction of the running costs.

5. Reliance Arcade, Brixton, London

Built 1923-5 by Andrews and Peascod of brick and concrete construction, this covered market is a straight narrow arcade running east-west from Electric Lane to Brixton Road. Fronting Electric Lane is a buff faience facade with Art Deco Egyptian-style detailing, which has been poorly repaired in the past. The units within the arcade are mostly occupied, but the roof and windows are in particularly poor condition. The Local Planning Authority is currently considering repair options and exploring possible sources of funding.

English Heritage has today announced the latest findings of its annual Heritage at Risk Register. The 2014 Register is the most comprehensive to date, with listed buildings, places of worship, industrial sites, scheduled monuments and archaeology, conservation areas, parks and gardens, protected wrecks and battlefields identified as At Risk, and in need of rescue.

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