Saffron Walden Castle may come off ‘at risk’ register next year

Repairs to Saffron Walden Castle mean it should be removed from the 'at risk' register.

Repairs to Saffron Walden Castle mean it should be removed from the 'at risk' register. - Credit: Archant

Walden Castle is expected to be no longer listed as an ‘at risk’ building next year following ongoing conservation work.

The site, which is over 800 years old, is scheduled to be removed from Historic England’s Heritage at Risk Register for the East of England, which was published on Tuesday (October 20).

The next stage of work is due to start next month. After that Historic England expects to take the site, which it says is progressing well, off the register early next year.

The project, which has been achieved thanks to grants from the heritage organisation as well as Natural England, has already seen the foundations of the castle repaired, and the tower restored and boundary wall restored.

Since last year, 22 scheduled monuments have been removed from the register, as well as ten Grade I and II listed buildings in the region. In fact, 65 sites have been rescued in the East this year, including 29 churches with help from Historic England grants injecting over £500,000 into 18 of the projects.

Water and wind mills are most ‘at risk’ in the region though, with 41 per cent of those in danger nationally found in the East of England. Although Drinkstone Post Mill in Suffolk was recently restored, 11 sites, including Tilty Mill, still feature on the list.

Greg Luton, planning director for Historic England in the East of England, said: “Historic mills help characterise our region and make it special, and are one of the types of heritage sites most at risk.

Most Read

“If they’re lost, then a sense of an important part of the history of the East of England is lost too. Together, we aim to safeguard our most precious places and buildings for future generations.”

Historic England has removed 33 per cent of endangered sites in the region off the register since 2010, beating their initial target of 25 per cent. In total, the Heritage at Risk Register 2015 for the East of England includes 89 Grade I and II listed buildings, 193 scheduled monuments, 107 places of worship, five parks and 40 conservation areas.