The Victorian Society – the only national charity dedicated to fighting for the protection of the Victorian and Edwardian historic environment – is asking the public to nominate structures under threat for inclusion in its annual Top Ten list of endangered buidings.
Previous structures nominated for inclusion have ranged from water towers and cranes to stately homes and churches. The Grade II*-listed Church of St Helen in Biscathorpe, Lincolnshire (above), for example, retains many of its original neo-Gothic features, such as ornamental grotesques, a pulpit, cast-iron benches, and stained glass, including a Rubens-inspired east window. The church’s fabric, however, is much in need of repair: plaster is falling off the crumbling walls, while water ingress and exposure to the elements has damaged the interior. This led the society to include St Helen’s in its 2021 list of ‘Top Ten Endangered Buildings’ (which also featured Icknield Street School in Birmingham – see ‘Sherds’ in CA 384). Now the annual hunt for at-risk architecture is on again.
Griff Rhys Jones, the society’s President, said: ‘Now is your chance to nominate a piece of architecture in your area. Many of the buildings have committed community groups rallying behind them, but funding can be difficult to secure. The Top Ten campaign is a way for local authorities and private investors to recognise the potential of these buildings and take steps to secure and revitalise them before it’s too late.’
To be eligible for nomination, buildings or structures must have been built in England or Wales between 1837 and 1914. Submissions – detailing the threat the structure is facing and reasons why it should be included in this year’s list – must be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org by 30 August. All nominations should include the building’s name/location; the year it was built; a brief description of its history and/ or architecture; and at least one good photo. (There is no benefit to a building being nominated more than once.)
The final Top Ten list will be announced later this year. See www.victoriansociety.org.uk.