Griff Rhys Jones launches 2023 Top Ten Endangered Buildings list

The Top Ten Endangered Victorian and Edwardian Buildings list 2023 has been revealed by the The Victorian Society’s President. The full list is here.

Photo: Rockwell Green Water Tower. Photo Copyright: NJ Cole

All the buildings in the Top Ten are nationally important Grade II listed buildings in real risk of being lost if action is not taken in the immediate future.

The 2023 list includes: an earl’s mansion that became a hostel for the homeless, a church where the congregation can’t hold services, two engineering marvels that saved lives by ensuring water free of sewage, and a club where newly enfranchised voters could meet. Details of each of the Grade II listed buildings, and the threats they face, can be found on the links below.

If the Top Ten inspires you to help us fight to save great Victorian and Edwardian architecture you can join us here or click here donate to help us continue our campaigns. You can also sign up for our free monthly newsletter here.

Griff Rhys Jones, The Victorian Society President, said:

“It’s pretty extraordinary that every year we get this list of worthy, interesting and valuable historic buildings which are under threat. Some people may think that the job is done with planning. But conservation has to keep on fighting.

Once again, the buildings here show how inventive and fascinating the Victorians and Edwardians can be. These are fascinating buildings. And what a huge part these pioneers played in the making of our country. After all sewage works are in the news every day. Water too. Here’s a water tower. Poor relief is still a national concern. Schools have never been more important. The Victorians laid the foundations for our needs in life and country, and they have left fantastic useful structures behind as testament to that story.

The standard of design and construction is incredibly high. Are we going to leave so many decaying and at risk when it is surely far greener to recycle them? We must refurbish and retrofit the attractive buildings within our communities for our own sake. The Victorian Society has been saying this for years.

Everyone can make a difference. Join us. Join the The Victorian Society. Spread the word. We need your support for our work. Our campaigns to save Victorian and Edwardian heritage are made stronger by numbers.

This year’s Top Ten finalists all desperately need our help. We have to find new funding. We need local grass roots campaigns. We must start urgent repair works. We must give protection from demolition or get new owners. But we can do it together. We can get started saving these and other heritage buildings around us. Please share the list widely.”

Griff also appeared live on 20th June on ITV’S Good Morning Britain to talk about our 2023 list, against a backdrop of a building that was on our 2012 Endangered Buildings list, the former Ipswich County Hall. The Ipswich building now has planning permission to be developed into flats view here from 1.33.13. Griff launched our list on the 20th June on the BBC Radio 4 Today Programme talking to presenter Justin Webb who was in Wales especially about the Welsh building, Soldiers’ Point, you can listen here to BBC Sounds (at the 1.45.30 mark).

Top 10 Endangered Buildings 2023 (in no particular order) – click through to read more:


Joe O’Donnell, The Victorian Society Director, said:

“A common factor with most buildings on our list this year is responsible ownership. Despite all these buildings being Grade II listed they have been neglected for years. Regular, appropriate, maintenance is vital for older buildings. The owners of the buildings on our list should be responsible stewards of these nationally significant buildings. If they can’t, or won’t, be that they should sell them so someone else can try and secure their futures before it is too late.”

The list is based on public nominations from across England and Wales, and the buildings selected represent industrial, religious, domestic, and civic architecture from across the nation with unique historical and community significance and value. Nominated buildings must be dated between 1837 and 1914.

An update on previous Top Ten Most Endangered Buildings:

After appearing in the The Victorian Society’s Top Ten in 2020, the Ex-Prudential offices, Oldham, Greater Manchester building was compulsorily purchased in March 2020 and sold to a new owner. Planning permission has been awarded in 2023 for the building to be renovated to provide a hub for businesses, foccussing on the creative, digital and media sectors. Plas Alltran, Holyhead in North Wales, also on our 2020 Top Ten list is being converted after listed buildings consent was given for four social housing flats together with external and internal works. Burslem Indoor Market (2021 Top 10) was granted Grade II listed status in January 2023 which helps emphasise the importance of the town centre’s Victorian urban fabric. The market is currently not in use, but its new listing will hopefully promote discussions into its future use. In March 2023 North Somerset Council invited applications from architects to overhaul the 150 year old Birnbeck Pier and Birnbeck Island in Weston-super-Mare (2015 Top Ten). The contract is worth £700,000. The 1873 Wesley Chapel in Hartlepool (2014 Top 10) will be reused with a developer in partnership with the council using money from the government’s Town Deal to fund the conservation work. The £4m project is expected to take about 18 months to complete. It will see the building – one of the largest chapels in north-east England – transformed into a 36-bedroom boutique hotel with a combined bar and restaurant.



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