Historic England has published its latest register of Heritage at Risk. The Register identifies sites most at risk of being lost as a result of neglect, decay or inappropriate development.
The publication reveals that no new heritage assets in Coventry have been added since last year’s list was published and a number of buildings have been removed from the list.
This year, the surviving length of the medieval city wall and one of the gate houses, Cook Street Gate, have been removed from the Heritage at Risk Register following the completion of repair works to the scheduled monuments, funded by a grant of £142,106 by Historic England.
The report acknowledges the work undertaken through the Coventry High Street Heritage Action Zone, based around The Burges. “Special focus has been given to Lady Herbert’s Garden and The Burges Conservation Area, which is the National Demonstrator for the High Street Heritage Action Zone scheme – under which Historic England has provided £2 million to the Historic Coventry Trust. The result has been transformative with shop fronts sensitively restored; breathing new life back into what had been a forgotten corner of the city centre”. However Lady Herbert’s Garden remains on the Heritage at Risk register.
The other building removed from the list is Holy Trinity Church. A National Lottery Heritage Fund Grant for Places of Worship was awarded in 2017 to assist repairs and re-roofing works were completed in August 2019.
There are eleven sites still included on the Register. These include a number of buildings that are currently being restored but are not yet been complete. For this reason the Grade I Listed Charterhouse is still shown as “poor condition” although work in the building is scheduled to be completed this year.
The Grade II*Listed Nonconformist Chapel at London Road Cemetery is also includes despite approved plans to convert the chapel for office use. A grant application has been made to Historic England to assist with repair works.
The Grade II* Listed Basement of the Old Star Inn, Earl Street, is awaiting redevelopment as part of the new Coventry University building.
Other sites in Coventry that remain on the Register include the Grade II* Listed Whitefriars Gatehouse (36 and 37 Much Park Street and archway in between), which is described as being in poor condition. The continuing threat of heritage crime, assorted masonry repairs and renewal of defective floor timbers above the archway are all issues to be addressed. A grant application has been made to Historic England by the historic Coventry Trust to assist with repairs to convert the Gatehouse for use as holiday accommodation.
The Grade II Listed St Mark’s Church and boundary walls to Stoney Stanton Road and Bird Street – are described as being in poor condition. Now relicensed and re-ordered for public worship, it has a catalogue of building fabric defects that require urgent attention including reroofing works, the renewal of rainwater goods, drainage and assorted high-level masonry repairs.
The Grade I Listed St John the Baptist Church on Fleet Street is described as being in poor condition – The red sandstone used in its construction is of variable quality and its repair and maintenance is an on-going issue, in particular, the condition of the nave clerestory. Transept roof coverings will shortly require renewal due to material failure.
Allesley Castle, which is a Scheduled Monument, is in generally unsatisfactory condition with major localised problems.
Stoney Road Allotments, which is a Grade II* Registered Park and Garden grade II*which includes five listed buildings continues to be in a generally unsatisfactory condition, with major localised problems. The summer houses are the principal elements at risk, and have not been maintained since listing in 2001. A conservation management plan has been produced (2018) for the gardens but not yet formally adopted. The SRGA are currently preparing a grant application to the National Lottery Heritage Fund to repair the summerhouse.
There are three Conservation Areas that remain on the At Risk Register.
- Lady Herbert’s Garden – Conservation area with listed buildings and scheduled monuments – condition Very Bad – Deteriorating significantly.
- London Road Conservation Area – Conservation Area with listed buildings and part of scheduled monument – condition Very Bad but improving.
- Naul’s Mill Conservation Area – Conservation Area with listed buildings – condition poor but improving.