Ten Norfolk churches added to at risk list of heritage which could be lost
- Credit: Historic England
No county in Britain has a richer concentration of historic churches than Norfolk, but heritage watchdogs have added 10 of them to a list of buildings at risk of being lost.
Concern that decay, neglect or a lack of money for conservation could threaten their future has prompted Historic England to add them to its Heritage at Risk Register 2020.
The brighter news is that seven Norfolk sites have been removed from the list because of positive efforts to safeguard them.
While most of the churches date back to medieval times, one of the churches added to the list was built much more recently.
The Grade II* listed St Peter’s Roman Catholic Church in Gorleston was designed in 1938-9 by sculptor Eric Gill.
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While the community has worked hard to protect the church, the windows and gutters are in poor condition and there is evidence of leaks.
Historic England is supporting the congregation, which is aiming to apply to the National Lottery Heritage Fund for funding to make repairs.
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Also added is the Grade I parish church of All Saints in Walsoken, which features what may be the largest Norman church nave in East Anglia.
But its lead covering is leaking, putting the 15th century roof at risk, with major repairs needed.
Other churches added to the list are: St Martin at Oak in Oak Street, Norwich; St Margaret’s in St Benedicts Street in Norwich; St Mary’s in Mautby, St Martin’s in Hindringham, St Peter and St Paul’s in Watlington; St Lawrence’s in Harpley, St Peter’s in Forncett and St Mary’s in North Elmham.
However, seven sites removed from the list are: All Saints Church in Runhall; St Nicholas’ Church in Salthouse; Well Hall Roman settlement in Grimston/Gayton; St Margaret’s Church in Starston; St Mary’s Church in East Walton; Holy Cross Church in Caston and St Margaret’s Church in Swannington.
Tony Calladine, regional director for Historic England in the East of England said: “It is the varied tapestry of our historic places that helps us define who we are.
“In testing times such as these, heritage gives us a sense of belonging, continuity and comfort. We also know that investing in historic places can help boost our economic recovery.”