Two sites in Sussex have been added to the Heritage at Risk Register

Two historic buildings in Sussex have been placed on a risk register because of their deteriorating condition.

The Old Mint House, a 16th-century hall in Pevensey, and Langley Priory, a medieval Grade II listed complex near Eastbourne, have both been placed on the Heritage at Risk Register amid fears they may be lost forever could.

The list issued by Historic England is used by national and local governments to identify structures that need protection to secure their future.

The list includes attractions such as the Brighton Hippodrome, Madeira Terrace and the West Pier.

The Argus: The Old Mint House was formerly used as a residence, brewhouse and large antique shopThe old mint house was formerly used as a residential building, brewhouse and large antique shop (Image: Historic England)

Opposite Pevensey Castle, The Old Mint House contains medieval timbers from the castle’s hall, but water intrusion has resulted in wet rot and deterioration of the building’s timber frame.

Structural movements have caused further damage, with the chimney removed for safety.

A newly formed charity, the Friends of the Mint House, is working to find a future use that will support the local community and raise funds for much-needed repairs.

Harriet Tait, Chair of the Friends of Mint House Board of Trustees, said: “Like many others, I was in love with the Mint House since childhood and spent many happy hours exploring it among all the antique tables, chairs and grandfather clocks when it was an antique shop.

“We have a fabulous Archeology and History team all unearthing many fascinating finds not only about the Mint but also about the history of Pevensey and we continue to raise much needed funds for its purchase and preservation.”

The Argus: This Grade I listed medieval building is one of the oldest in Eastbourne but is in dire need of repairsThe medieval listed building is one of the oldest in Eastbourne but is in dire need of repairs (Image: Historic England)

Langney Priory, built by the Cluniacs before 1121, is also included on the register as it was in need of urgent repairs, with damage to the roof, signs of water ingress, rotting wood and movement which has caused damage and cracks to the walls.

Historic England is working closely with the site owners to save what is believed to be one of the oldest buildings in Eastbourne.

The two buildings are among 11 sites in south-east England to be included in the register.

The Argus: The southern spillway has been restored as part of a major repair packageThe southern spillway was renovated as part of a comprehensive repair package (Image: Sam Dee)

However, the Fernhurst stove was salvaged and removed from the risk register after a major repair package was completed in May.

The blast furnace, one of the Wealden Iron Industry’s most complete charcoal-fired blast furnaces, was placed on the register in 2006 due to danger of collapse and damage from uncontrolled flooding of the remains.

Carla Barnes, Chair of the Fernhurst Furnace Preservation Group, said: “At our Open Weekend event in September, it was gratifying to hear the gasping praises from regular attendees at what was achieved through the Furnace Repair Project.

“It is very reassuring for property owners to know that our nationally important site is now safe and resilient for many decades to come.”

The Argus: Fernhurst Furnace before repairFernhurst oven before repairs (Image: Sam Dee)

Future plans for the kiln include uncovering the previously excavated kiln for groups of visitors, as well as providing seating where visitors can pause to view the surrounding woods and pond.

Emily Gee, Regional Director of Historic England, said: “Central to Historic England’s mission is that we pass on to future generations the rich legacy of historic buildings and places that we have inherited from previous generations.

“Our Heritage at Risk program makes a significant contribution to this goal. With the help of local communities and partners, imaginative thinking and business planning, we can continue to regenerate historic sites throughout the Southeast.”

Historic England also said good progress was being made on the restoration of the Saltdean Lido, with a £7.5million restoration underway to restore the 1930s art deco building and bring it back into service gain weight.

The restored site will include a poolside cafe, library, art deco ballroom, common areas and a heritage and learning room. Two sites in Sussex have been added to the Heritage at Risk Register

Fry Electronics Team

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