England

Ten 'most threatened' buildings in England and Wales

  • 11 October 2010
  • From the section England
former Unitarian chapel on Upper Brook Street in Manchester
Image caption The Unitarian Chapel on Upper Brook Street in Manchester is on the endangered list

The Victorian Society has released a list of what it says are the 10 most endangered buildings in England and Wales.

It follows a public appeal by the charity to find the most threatened Victorian and Edwardian buildings.

The buildings are in Leicestershire, Birmingham, Stoke-on-Trent, Sheffield, Grimsby, Liverpool, Manchester, London and Vale of Glamorgan.

Included is a former ice factory, an old fire station and a school.

This is the fourth year the Victorian Society has run its endangered buildings list, which aims to highlight the problems facing historic properties.

In order to be on the list, a building has to be at risk, whether from demolition, insensitive development or years of neglect, the society said.

The list of 10 was drawn up using nominations from members of the public.

Dr Ian Dungavell, director of the Victorian Society, said: "Our heritage is a finite resource and once historic buildings like this are gone they cannot be replaced."

Also on the list is a boarded-up former orphanage in Liverpool, designed by Victorian architect Alfred Waterhouse and built in the 1870s, and a former Unitarian chapel on Upper Brook Street in Manchester.

The roof of the Grade II-listed chapel, which dates back to the late-1830s, has been taken off for safety reasons and the Victorian Society wants Manchester City Council to ensure the rest of the building is protected.

"Time is running out for the chapel, as the longer it lies empty and exposed to the elements the harder it will be to save," said Dr Dungavell.

"We urge Manchester City Council to take the lead and bring this eye-catching ruin back into use."

Manchester City Council said it had been working to re-develop the site and was currently in negotiations with a developer to renovate the building.

A council spokesman said: "Discussions are at an early stage but we hope to make an announcement about the future of the chapel within the next few months."

'Eye-catching ruin'

Also on the list is the former Moseley School of Art in Birmingham, built in 1898, which is now the headquarters of the British Association of Muslims.

The Victorian Society is concerned about the building's "deteriorating condition".

Dr Dungavell said: "Even in harsh economic times historic buildings like the former art school need to be cared for or they won't survive for future generations.

"This is a nationally significant building and we urge the council to use its powers and make sure urgent repairs are carried out."

Image caption The Moseley School of Art in Birmingham is now home to the British Association of Muslims

The former Wedgwood Institute in Burslem in Stoke-on-Trent has also been included on the list.

Until recently, it was home to Burslem's public library, but closed two years ago due to structural problems, the society said.

The library books have been moved elsewhere but the building remains at risk of further deterioration.

The Victorian Society's list is different to the At Risk Register organised by English Heritage, but some of the buildings, such as the Grimsby former ice factory, features on both of them.

The ice factory was built in 1900/1901 and produced ice for Grimsby's fishing industry for 90 years, before closing in 1990.

Ice-making machinery remains inside the building, even though the factory is now derelict.

Earlier this year, the Great Grimsby Ice Factory Trust was set up to campaign for its restoration.

Vicky Hartung, chair of the trust, said: "It's one of the few remaining buildings from our heritage.

"We were a glorious fishing port at one time, we are no longer that, but it's a spectacular building and we think it can be brought to life again and contribute to the town."

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