Three historic sites in Cornwall declared 'at risk' - but two more have been rescued. 

Details were published by Historic England in its annual Heritage at Risk Register for 2021 on Thursday.

The Register is the yearly health-check of England’s most valued historic places and those most at risk of being lost forever as a result of neglect, decay or inappropriate development.

Over the last year, 77 historic buildings and sites in the South West have been removed from the Register.

Many have been saved thanks to the hard work and dedication of local communities, who have come together to rescue places despite the challenges wrought by the Covid-19 pandemic over the past 18 months.

Charities, owners, local councils and Historic England have also worked together to see historic places restored, re-used and brought back to life.

Historic England gave £1.49 million in grants to historic places in the South West throughout the past year, plus another £1.24 million in lifeline grants from the government’s Culture Recovery Fund.

These emergency grants have kick-started essential repairs and maintenance at many precious historic sites during the pandemic and helped protect the livelihoods of the skilled craft workers who keep cherished historic places alive.

Sites rescued and removed from the heritage at risk register in 2021 across Cornwall include:

Anchor Studio, Penzance, Cornwall

In 2019 much of the timber frame, timber cladding and slate roof needed urgent repair or replacement, and it was added to the Heritage at Risk Register. Thanks to support from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, Historic England, Cornwall Council and Arts Council England, amongst others, the repairs were completed in March 2021. Historic England were specifically able to fund the traditional west Cornish wet laid scantle slate roof, correct lime mortar repointing and crucial timber window reinstatements.

Chris Hibbert of the Borlase Smart John Wells Trust said: “We are thrilled to have repaired Anchor Studio this year and secured its removal from the Heritage at Risk Register. The Trust’s mission is to provide high quality, affordable studio space for artists working within the unique cultural context of Cornwall, so we are delighted that Anchor is once again in use as a studio, and since it now also includes accommodation, it is especially suited for visiting artists.”

Cardinham Castle, near Bodmin, Cornwall

Cardinham Castle is one of only a few medieval castles in Cornwall, and something of a well-kept secret. It is situated on a spur of land amidst ancient woodland associated with tributaries of the river Fowey, in a very beautiful, peaceful and secret location.

Through the hard work of the owner and with funding from Historic England, the castle has been cleared of damaging scrub and bracken and fenced to allow carefully controlled grazing which is better for earthwork monuments. Volunteers have been carrying out a geophysical survey to find out more about this little-known site and a stile has been installed for better public access.

Sites added to the register in Cornwall in 2021:

Former Offices and Remains of Foundry of Harvey and Company (24 Foundry Square), Hayle, Cornwall

The Former Offices and Remains of Harvey’s Foundry are an important part of the story of the town of Hayle, and of Cornwall’s global mining industry.

Although the building is currently in use as part of the Hayle Heritage Centre, its fabric now needs significant repair. 24 Foundry Square is being placed on the Heritage at Risk Register because there are structural issues, drainage and damp problems, and potentially subsidence.

Late medieval packhorse bridge, Newport, Launceston, Cornwall

Repairs are planned for this largely unaltered packhorse bridge

This packhorse bridge is believed to have been built in the 15th century to serve the nearby Priory of Launceston. It straddles the River Kensey at a point where the river widens and in the past was used as a ford.

The narrow bridge has five small arches and a cobbled footway flanked by large slate slabs. An iron handrail and cast-iron lamp post may have been added in the late 19th century.

Because it only carries foot traffic, the packhorse bridge is a rare example of a monument that has survived almost unaltered. For the same reason, the bridge has not been regularly maintained and vegetation has grown in the masonry joints. Some of the footway’s cobbles have become loose and over the last year the bridge has suffered vandalism.

Lanivet Cross, Cornwall

Richly carved early medieval cross requires careful management

The churchyard cross at Lanivet stands in what may be its original location. It is a rare example of a complete pre-Norman churchyard cross, decorated with interlace, knotwork, and plant scrolls. It is part of a group of pre-Norman monuments on the site which together provide important evidence for early Christianity in Cornwall.