10 London Buildings Added To Heritage At Risk Register

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By M@ Last edited 7 months ago

Last Updated 09 November 2023

10 London Buildings Added To Heritage At Risk Register
The church of St George in the East
St George in the East. Image Matt Brown

If you enjoy London's history, then take a look at Londonist: Time Machine, our weekly free newsletter all about the city's past.

Historic England has published its annual Heritage At Risk register, which tracks buildings and landscapes that might be lost thanks to "neglect, decay or inappropriate development". The London section contains ten new entries (detailed below).

Overall, some 599 historic buildings are deemed at risk in the Greater London area, including 392 that have Grade I, II* or II status, or carry some other heritage rating.

As ever, the list comes with a dollop of heartening news. 41 London sites that were previously on the list were saved in 2023, with the help of local communities, charities, private funders and lottery cash. These include such landmarks as the former Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel (now Tower Hamlets town hall), Upminster Windmill, and that curious electricity substation in Wimbledon that looks a bit like a Tardis.

The ten London buildings added to the "At Risk" register in 2023 are:

Catacombs of brick
Clerkenwell House of Detention. A former prison, then museum, occasionally used for film shoots but currently empty. Image Matt Brown

House of Detention, Clerkenwell: A former prison, the subterranean structure is lying empty and unloved. Round the corner, the church of St James remains on the list from previous years.

Library, public baths and wash house, Southwark: The building on Wells Way is now a boxing gym, but parts of the structure remain unused and at risk of deterioration.

Livesey Hall War Memorial, Perry Hill: A memorial to gas company workers in Sydenham, with missing plaques and general poor condition.

London Chest Hospital, Bethnal Green: A Victorian hospital currently vacant and facing various issues, including water ingress.

Manor Farmhouse, Harmondsworth: A grade II-listed villa that's lying vacant. Has suffered lead theft and other vandalism.

Repository Woods, Greenwich: The only new London entry that isn't a building, Repository Woods is an historic military training ground with public access, but little active management.

Shrapnel marks on St Clement Danes church
St Clement Danes still carries the scars of the second world war... although that's not why it's at risk. Image Matt Brown

St Clement Danes, Strand: A reminder that even prominent, central London buildings can find themselves in trouble. St Clement Danes is a Wren church that was badly damaged in the war, repaired, and dedicated to the RAF. It is currently suffering from cracks to the spire and problems with the lead roof.

St George in the East: Much-celebrated Nicholas Hawksmoor church near Shadwell, heavily damaged in the second world war, since restored but is now suffering water damage. It is Grade I listed, the most important heritage status.

St Peter's, Bethnal Green: Bethnal Green already had two churches on the list and now adds a third. St Peter's is experiencing numerous problems including asbestos issues.

Upminster Tithe Barn: Rare surviving 15th century barn that now houses the Museum of Nostalgia. Its thatched roof is in poor repair.

It should be noted that many of these buildings already have plans in place to fix their various issues, and none are in imminent risk of destruction.

The full report for London and the south-east can be found here (PDF), with information about the picture across the rest of England here.