600 monuments and sites in Yorkshire in urgent need of maintenance and repairs say English Heritage

First published in York Press: Photograph of the Author by , Chief reporter

ENGLISH Heritage has revealed that more than 600 scheduled monuments in Yorkshire – and more than 90 of its most important listed buildings – are now considered to be at risk.

The organisation said two of the most important historic buildings and sites on its Heritage At Risk Register 2012 are the Battle of Towton battlefield near Tadcaster and the Birdsall Estate in Ryedale, which includes 16 scheduled monuments.

Properties and sites that have been added to the register include Bridlington Quay, because of the number of empty buildings and a lack of maintenance, and both St Nicholas Church, Ganton, near Scarborough, and St Wilfrid Church, Monk Fryston, Selby, where urgent repair needs have been identified.

Goole conservation area is also considered at risk, because of a lack of maintenance and building vacancy.

Plumpton Rocks, near Harrogate, developed in the late 18th century by Daniel Laselles as a pleasure park to take advantage of the dramatic natural setting provided by outcrops of millstone grit, have also been added to the register.

A spokesman said silting up of the artificial lake, over mature tree cover and encroaching Himalayan Balsam was now “eroding the legibility of the park and affecting its significance.”

It said a significant Grade II building already known to be at risk is the “Excursion Station” at Westborough, Scarborough. “Designed by William Bell and built in 1883 as Scarborough became a popular seaside resort, the station was designed to keep excursion passengers separate from the ‘better class’ of passenger visiting the main railway station,” said a spokesman. “It is disused and needs major roof repairs.”

He said some properties had been rescued and removed from the register, including Wykeham Priory, Scarborough – a structural scheduled monument and Grade II listed, where repairs had been carried out with funding from Natural England through a craft skills training scheme.

Another rescued property was Norwood House, Beverley, a Grade I listed building probably built for the mayor in about 1765-70, which has been repaired and re-decorated.

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