Home news Glassworks and chapels on Victorian Society's 'at risk' list

Glassworks and chapels on Victorian Society's 'at risk' list

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Two chapels designed by the architect of the Natural History Museum and a factory which made glass for Big Ben’s clock faces have been named among England’s most endangered buildings.

They feature on the Victorian Society’s annual list of buildings deemed “at risk of being lost forever”.

It includes Chance’s Glassworks in Smethwick, the chapels near Wigan and The Leas Pavilion in Folkestone.

A railway warehouse in Derby and a former school in Bradford also feature.

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Comedian and vice-president of the Victorian Society, Griff Rhys Jones, said: “All of the buildings on this year’s list have local, even national, importance in terms of their history and/or architecture.

“To have let them fall into their current state is deplorable, but there is still time to save them for future generations to enjoy.”

He called on councils and private investors to “take steps to secure and revitalise them before it’s too late”.

This is the 10th year the society has released the list – which also includes Edwardian-era structures -and it claims it has helped to help save “over a quarter” of the 100 buildings featured.

The 2017 Top Ten List:

Cannington Shaw No 7 Bottle Shop, St Helens (Grade II, 1886) The Bottle Shop is all that remains of what was once claimed to be the largest bottle making factory in the country.

The abandoned building, described by the Victorian Society as an “an important heritage asset”, is sandwiched between the A58 and a supermarket car park near to St Helens RLFC’s stadium.

Chapels at Ince-in-Makerfield, near Wigan (Grade II, 1855) The two chapels in the cemetery at Ince-in-Makerfield were designed by Alfred Waterhouse in 1855 after he won a competition for the commission. Waterhouse went on to design the Natural History Museum and Manchester Town Hall.

The cemetery buildings were listed in the 1980s but have been left empty and without a use for many years.

Fison’s Fertiliser Factory, Bramford, Suffolk (Grade II, 1858-60) Originally built as a fertiliser factory in the mid 19th Century, the buildings known as the North Warehouse are the only structures remaining.

Since the site closed in 2003, redevelopment plans have been approved but no progression has been made.

Feversham Street First School, Bradford (Grade II*, 1873) The former school is the only Grade II* building on the 2017 list.

Since closing in 1993, this Gothic Revival building has been used mainly for commercial purposes but now appears to be closed and abandoned.

Chance’s Glassworks, Smethwick (Grade II, 1824) The clock faces of Big Ben and other glass in the Palace of Westminster were produced here, as well as some 2,300 Victorian lighthouse lanterns used around the world.

The site is currently held by a skip hire company.

The Leas Pavilion, Folkestone (Grade II, 1902 and 1928) The Leas Pavilion opened in 1902 and was mostly used as a theatre until 1984, and a pub and entertainment venue until its closure in 2007.

The Edwardian building is now owned by developers who were granted planning permission in 2015 to build 68 flats to both sides of the existing site with a span over the top.

The Great Northern Railway Warehouse, Derby (Grade II, 1877-8) The warehouse, built by Kirk & Randall of Sleaford as part of the Great Northern Railway at Friargate Station, has been left derelict for almost 50 years.

The Victorian Society said planning permission was granted for the site to be redeveloped into a large-scale shopping and accommodation complex in 2011, but the plans have stalled. It said the building is “at the tipping point of salvation”.

St Andrew’s Church, Huddersfield (Grade II, 1870) Designed by W H Crossland, St Andrew’s is the only church on the 2017 list.

The building is currently up for sale but the Victorian Society say it is becoming increasingly vulnerable to damage from vandals, nesting birds and general decay.

The New Tiger’s Head, Lee Green, London (unlisted, 1890s) Comparatively little is known about this 19th Century former pub on the borders of Greenwich and Lewisham.

It is on sale for £2.5m and, according to the Victorian Society, the local authority has requested the current owners to make emergency repairs.

Buckley’s Brewery Maltings, Llanelli, Wales (Grade II, 1852-6,) The site on the banks of the river has been derelict for almost 20 years since beer production moved to Cardiff.

Plans to convert it into flats were agreed in 2014.


Source: BBC Suffolk