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Nominate 2017’s Top Ten Endangered Buildings

Do you know a Victorian building you feel is under threat? Is there something you wish you could do to help secure its future? Nominations are now open for The Victorian Society’s Top 10 Endangered Buildings 2017.

Red Barns, Redcar, North Yorks ©The Victorian Society

Why should I nominate a building?

Appearing in the Top 10 Endangered Buildings List will give your building heightened publicity and could help save it. 

“The Red Barns Preservation Trust's ongoing campaign to save the Grade II*-listed building in Redcar was helped tremendously by its inclusion in the Victorian Society's Top Ten Endangered List. The Society's intervention sparked a number of other significant expressions of interest and support and the comparison between the Red House and Red Barns brought national attention to the issue of resources for the preservation of architectural treasures in the North East of England.”
Patricia Whaley, Red Barns Preservation Trust

Increased media coverage will help bring your building to the attention of those who matter. The coverage for the 2016 Top 10 was considerable: we featured in almost every national paper, including the Guardian, the Financial Times and the Daily Mail. We featured on BBC and ITV online news pages, as the 2nd most read piece on the BBC National front page, and the Victorian Society even started trending on Twitter for the first time! We also featured on the One Show primarily discussing Grimsby’s Victoria Mill. 

What building should I nominate?

If you have a building you wish to nominate, it must be:

·         In England/Wales.
·         Built between 1837 and 1914.

Nominated buildings/structures could be threatened by demolition, neglect or inappropriate development. If your building is Listed it is more likely to make the shortlist, but it’s not necessary for nomination. We rarely consider buildings that have appeared in previous years Top 10 lists, unless there is a very compelling reason for it to be reconsidered.

How do I nominate a building?

To nominate a building please send brief details (name of the building, location, year, brief description, why you think it should be in the Top 10) to or by post to 1 Priory Gardens, London W4 1TT before 5pm on Friday 7th July when nominations will close. If possible please accompany the nomination with at least one good photo of the building. We will announce the final top 10 list on Wednesday 13th September.

If you use social media, please share our call for nominations and follow the hashtag #vicsoctop10 for the latest updates.

Where are they now? 2016 Top 10

Earlier this year, we welcomed the news that North East Lincolnshire Council had purchased Victoria Mill for £1 bringing the building into public ownership. Current works are due to be completed by May and, though it is not yet known what it will be used for, it could "improve the borough's maritime heritage offer", the council have said.

After promising reports of its conversion into a museum, sadly new proposals have now been submitted for Old Bute Road Railway Station to be damagingly converted (and extended) into a mix of office, live-work and retail spaces. We have submitted our objections to the proposals.

Works are underway at Red Barns in Redcar, former home of Gertrude Bell, to separate the property into dwellings as the planning permission. Some restorative works have been done to the roof to prevent further damage. The RBPT are continuing to work with the owners and the Local Authority to secure the future of this important building.

The Stafford Old Library Trust are fighting for acquisition of the Grade II-listed building. Last week, a reasonable offer of £400,000 was sadly rejected by the owner. The sale notice has since been withdrawn, so the hope is the Carnegie Library will re-emerge for sale at a much more reasonable price so the trust can raise the money for purchase to keep it as a community space.

For Clayton Hospital, Wakefield Grammar School Foundation now propose to retain the central pavilion and tower (but with a significant refurbishment and extension) whilst demolishing all adjoining buildings. Whilst this is certainly an improvement from total demolition, we still feel a lot more allowance needs to be made for this historic site and will be submitting our response soon.

The only church on the list, St Paul’s at Boughton, is sadly now officially to close. The goal now is to find a suitable alternative use whilst keeping the building in a manageable condition.

Oliver Buildings in Barnstaple now have confirmed Grade II-listed status, however despite the extension of the Conservation Area by the council, the building continues to decay, with a substantial hole in the roof causing further damage each day. A possible deal with Historic England may be on the cards, but the hoped for repair and conversion scheme is awaiting confirmation. 

The long-term fate of Rylands Mill still hangs in the balance as we understand a buyer is yet to be found, though the asking price has dropped considerably from £2.5 million to £700,000. Discussions with the owner remain confidential, though no planning or listed building consent has yet to be granted. In the meantime, the council are trying to ensure the site is secure by utilising statutory powers.

No progress has been made with St Joseph’s Seminary or Mount Street Hospital at this stage, though for St Joseph’s there have been recent discussions with potential new owners which must at this stage remain confidential. The Victorian Society is hopeful that progress will be made towards sensitive and appropriate new uses for both these fine 19th century buildings. 

Wednesday 3 May, 2017

More recent item: Race against time to save historic pumping station
Earlier item: Brutal ‘gutting’ plans for West End theatre must be halted

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