Suffolk/Essex: Mixed fortunes for our precious at-risk heritage buildings

The Guildhall in Finchingfield, that was originally built in 1470, has undergone renovations and is

The Guildhall in Finchingfield, that was originally built in 1470, has undergone renovations and is going to open soon as a cultural and events centre in the village. - Credit: Archant

Seven listed buildings in Suffolk and north Essex have been removed from the Heritage at Risk Register because their futures have been secured, but three have been added.

Eye Town Hall

Eye Town Hall - Credit: Archant

The Grade I and II listed properties removed from the English Heritage Risk Register include the ruins of St Peter’s Church in Eriswell, Badley Hall, Eye Town Hall, St Mary’s Church in Ickworth Park, Clare Castle Keep, Grey Friars in Dunwich and Finchingfield Guildhall in Essex.

Greg Luton, planning and conservation director for English Heritage in the East of England, said: “We’re proud of our many successes in the East of England in removing historic sites from the register, and we’re on target nationally to save 25% or 1,137 sites that were on our register in 2010 by 2015.

“From Finchingfield Guildhall to the Iron Age Religious Site at Gallows Hill, Thetford, our local successes are down to good partnerships with owners, developers, the HLF, Natural England, councils and local groups.”

Grade I listed Finchingfield Guildhall has been repaired and refurbished and is being used as a community building with a village centre library, museum and other facilities.

In Suffolk, the medieval ruins at Grey Friars and Clare Castle, have been removed from the register following grant-aid from English Heritage working with Suffolk County Council.

Restoration work has included weather-proofing Clare Castle keep and the bailey walls and rebuilding sections of old medieval walls, some of which had collapsed. St Mary’s Church in Ickworth Park, has also been restored and brought back into use.

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Progress has also been made at the former Atomic Bomb Store in Thetford Heath, Barnham, which was one of two purpose-built military bases built in the early 1950s.

Three of English Heritage’s top priority sites for rescue and repair in the East of England added to the register are Kersey Mill, the gateway to Wolsey’s College of St Mary in Ipswich and Felixstowe’s Martello Tower.

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