Crumbling English landmarks are left 'in peril'

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Neglectful owners of historic landmarks risk being named and shamed by English Heritage, which has placed one fifth of all the nation's monuments and battlefields on a register of threatened structures and warned that they are in danger of being lost.

The country's steward of significant historical and archaeological sites has put 1,680 sites on its annual "at risk" register – a rise since last year of 87 grade I and II listed buildings, eight battlefields, and 10 underwater wrecks. About one in every 14 parks, gardens and landscapes is also threatened. Overall, this amounts to one in 12 heritage sites across the nation classed as "high risk", in need of urgent preservation, with £400m needed to save them.

For the first time, the organisation has created a map that ranks local authorities in order of the highest quantity of monuments at risk. In all, 27 authorities, including councils in Birmingham, Gateshead, Rotherham, Leeds and Coventry, have monuments that are listed in the "high risk" category. They include the crumbling grade II-listed Battersea Power Station, a doorless listed telephone box in Whitechapel, east London, a vacant housing estate in Newcastle and battlefields of extraordinary importance – including a Civil War site in Newbury, Berkshire – which are owned by local authorities that are under pressure to use the space for "new build" housing developments.

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