COUNTY Durham is famed for having some of the best heritage assets in the country and stunning landscapes that are postcard perfect.

However, among the buildings and listed buildings that get thousands spent on them each year, there is also a fair share that are left to rot and decay in several locations across the region.

As part of its yearly task as a heritage group, Historic England has released its 2021 ‘at risk’ buildings, which shows the historic structures that are in danger of falling into disrepair or disappearing from the area completely.

Read more: Historic England publishes 2021 Heritage at Risk Register

To compile its list, Historic England has scoured the whole of England to put together the buildings, bridges, gates, decorations, and other architecturally important landmarks that need serious work on them in 2022 and designed an interactive map.

While it doesn’t look good for those that made the list, Historic England says that out of the hundreds of places that were itemised as ‘at risk’ and in ‘poor condition’ in 2020, only a select few remain in 2021, due to the money they’ve had spent on them.

Over the last 12 months, Historic England has reportedly spent £9.1m on repairing buildings that need a little care – and expect to do the same over the next year.

Here are some of the historical assets in County Durham that are on the 2021 ‘at risk’ interactive map:

Durham Prisoner’s Office Club 

Hallgarth Street, Durham 

The Grade II Listed building, which is also known as ‘The Tithe Barn’, forms part of an important group of medieval farm buildings.

As part of the building lies outside the perimeter of the adjoining prison and is used as part of the Prison Officers’ Club, Historic England has listed this property as ‘at risk’ due to the roof, stonework and upper floor needing attention.

As well as needing urgent attention for these items, the former granary building in heart of Durham City is noted as having ‘slow decay’.

Despite having repointing and other works done on it over recent years, Historic England has pinpointed this vital building as one that could easily disappear in the coming decades.

Read more: Dorman Long tower: Ben Houchen and Historic England clash over 'listing'

Windlestone Park Clocktower 

Windlestone Hall, near Bishop Auckland

Despite this 19th-century asset being repaired in 1989, using a Historic England grant, the 30 years that have followed has seen the clocktower fall into disrepair.

The striking feature at Windlestone Park once formed a clock tower and stables gateway but is now listed for stonework repairs and general maintenance. In recent times, the clock faces have also been removed.

Like many buildings on the ‘at risk’ map, this is a Grade II listed property, but with a categorisation of ‘poor’ made by Historic England and its current state under private ownership, it makes the list.

The Northern Echo: Windlestone Hall has fallen derelict, while its clocktower has lost its face in recent years.Windlestone Hall has fallen derelict, while its clocktower has lost its face in recent years.

Church of St Ives – Consett

Leadgate, Consett

Created as a large stone church of 1865-8 by the architect, Charles Hodgson Fowler, the building has served the people of Consett for over 150 years. 

Owned by a religious organisation, roofing works were completed in 2017 with a Listed Places of Worship Roof Repairs Grant. 

However, there is structural movement at the east end of the building, together with open joints and deep pockets of stone erosion to other areas of external walling. 

Funding options are being explored for investigatory works and repairs, but with a ‘poor’ condition and ‘slow decay’ listed by Historic England, it’s unclear on the future on St Ives.  

The Northern Echo: The Church of St Ives has stood in Leadgate since 1865, but has issues with its stonework.The Church of St Ives has stood in Leadgate since 1865, but has issues with its stonework.

Goods Shed at North Road Station

North Road, Darlington 

Built in 1833, the goods shed is an early component of the Stockton & Darlington Railway; the world's first modern railway. 

Extended in 1839-40, the building was the main goods handling facility for the railway. 

Single storey, it consists of two parallel ranges with external sandstone walls with classical detailing.

here is evidence of structural movement, particularly to the clock tower, and the building is vulnerable to heritage crime, according to Historic England. 

Despite having ongoing work to help secure the future of the building and its wider setting as part of the Stockton & Darlington Railway Heritage Action Zone, it’s deemed ‘poor’ in condition by Historic England.

The Northern Echo: Concerns about the safety of Lamb Bridge have been raised, which has led Historic England to describe it as 'at risk'. Concerns about the safety of Lamb Bridge have been raised, which has led Historic England to describe it as 'at risk'.

Lamb Bridge

Lambton Park, near Chester-le-Street

Built in 1819 by Ignatius Bonomi for John Lambton, first Earl of Durham, the sandstone bridge over the River Wear has structural distortions that are causing concern about its stability. 

Some works have been undertaken, including ongoing structural monitoring. 

A substantive repair programme has yet to be undertaken but options are now being explored to help secure the long-term future of the various historic buildings and structures on the estate, which could see it renovated.

While Historic England has classified it as an ‘at risk’ structure, they have hopes of bringing it back to its heyday in 2022. 

Read more: Darlington Skerne's railway bridge given Grade I listing

What Historic England had to say: 

Duncan Wilson, chief executive at Historic England, said: “Our heritage is an anchor for us all in testing times. Despite the challenges we have all faced recently, this year’s Heritage at Risk Register demonstrates that looking after and investing in our historic places can bring communities together, contribute to the country’s economic recovery and help tackle climate change. Our historic places deserve attention, investment and a secure future.”

Have a look at the complete ‘at risk’ map here

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