Walden Castle removed from ‘at risk’ heritage register by Historic England

Walden Castle, Saffron Walden, Essex has been removed from the Heritage at Risk Register 2017. Picture: HISTORIC ENGLAND/PATRICIA PAYNE

Walden Castle, Saffron Walden, Essex has been removed from the Heritage at Risk Register 2017. Picture: HISTORIC ENGLAND/PATRICIA PAYNE

© Historic England Archive

Walden Castle has today been removed from a list of ‘at risk’ heritage sites after maintenance work was carried out by Uttlesford District Council.

The Norman keep had been placed on Historic England’s Heritage at Risk Register, an annual report looking at the health of the historic environment.

For the first time, the number of sites on the East of England register has dropped below 400 – with Walden Castle one of those contributing to the fall.

The motte-and-bailey castle – of which the keep walls are all that remain above ground as well as the surrounding earthworks - had been put on the register as uncontrolled vegetation growth and exposure to the elements were causing decay and collapse of the rubble walls.

But thanks to advice and grant funding from Historic England, the council carried out a programme of stabilisation and repairs in 2013, which have now been completed.

The walls have been capped with carefully selected grass, and wider landscaping work and interpretation has completed the scheme.

Simon Buteux, heritage at risk principal for Historic England in the East of England, said: “The register helps us target resources to sites which are most threatened. For the first time this year we have seen the number of entries on the register in the East of England fall below 400, which is really good news.

“We will continue to invest grant aid and time and expertise in working with owners, developers, communities and other funders to find solutions for the region’s heritage at risk.”

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