Historic England has published its annual Heritage at Risk Register today (4 November) – and several historic East Lancashire buildings are on the red list.

The register is the yearly health-check of England’s most valued historic places. Any that feature are at risk of being lost through neglect, decay or inappropriate development.

The Heritage at Risk Register 2021 reveals that in England 233 sites have been saved and 130 sites have been added to the Register.

Thankfully, none have been added to the list in East Lancashire but there are still dozens that remain on the ‘at risk’ list in 2021

Duncan Wilson, Chief Executive of Historic England said: “Our heritage is an anchor for us all in testing times. Despite the challenges we have all faced recently, this year’s Heritage at Risk Register demonstrates that looking after and investing in our historic places can bring communities together, contribute to the country’s economic recovery and help tackle climate change. Our historic places deserve attention, investment and a secure future.”

Here are the 21 historic East Lancashire buildings and structures most at risk of being lost in time.

Blackburn with Darwen

Summerhouse east of Turton Tower, near Chapeltown Road, North Turton
Condition of building: Poor

This summerhouse, or hunting lodge, is associated with nearby country house known as Turton Tower.

Some repair work was carried out in 2015 but the structure lacks an internal first floor and requires further maintenance works to the roof and stonework to prevent further decline.

Church of St Cuthbert, Blackburn Road, Darwen
Condition of building: Poor

Lancashire Telegraph: Church of St CuthbertChurch of St Cuthbert

(Photo © Gordon Griffiths (cc-by-sa/2.0))

Church of 1878, by Paley and Austin, completed 1907-8

The stained glass window to the main road was rebuilt and repaired under the Historic England / National Lottery Heritage Fund Repair Grants for Places of Worship scheme in 2015. Further work is needed.

Church of St Peter, Church Street, Darwen
Condition of building: Poor
The church was designed by Rickman and Hutchinson and built between 1827-9.

The aisle roof coverings and gutters have deteriorated, allowing rain entry. A grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund in 2018 has addressed the most urgent repairs – but work still needs to be done.


In or near Burnley


Ice house at Towneley Hall
Condition: Poor

The Ice house in the grounds of Towneley Park is thought to have been built by the Towneleys in the 17th century.

It was repaired in 1976 and was open to the public by appointment. It is now very overgrown and obscured by saplings, brambles and ivy.

 It is currently being used as a bat roost and the needs of this protected species will need to be taken in to account when dealing with the vegetation.

Extwistle Hall and attached garden wall, Briercliffe
Condition: Very bad

C16-17 gentry hall house with later C19 alterations. No progress has been made on either temporary or permanent repairs, or refurbishment. The building is now in a seriously dilapidated condition and continues to deteriorate at an accelerating rate. Historic England are working with the local authority and prospective new owners for a scheme to achieve the repair and re-use of the building.

The Holme, Burnley Road, Cliviger
Condition: Poor

One of south Lancashire's few surviving country houses dates back to the late 16th century/ early 17th century.

Much original fabric was lost to fire in 2004 and subsequent architectural theft and vandalism.

The building was acquired by a developer in 2013. Conditional Planning Permission and Listed Building Consent for conversion to apartments were granted in 2015 and, although the development is complete and the building re-occupied, work has not progressed as anticipated due to non-compliance and unauthorised works. Until resolved, the building continues to be regarded as at risk.

Arched gateway and garden wall attached to south front of Shuttleworth Hall, Hapton
Condition: Poor

The wall has had patch repairs in cement mortar but moisture and salts in the wall cannot move through the hard cement mortar, and instead push through the softer stone, causing it to weather and deteriorate

Shuttleworth Hall, Hapton

Lancashire Telegraph: Shuttleworth HallShuttleworth Hall

(Photo © David Medcalf (cc-by-sa/2.0))

Condition: Poor

The roof is in a poor condition, and cement render/pointing have damaged the stonework. The Hall requires a full condition survey and schedule of repair works. Historic England and the local authority have previously encouraged repairs, but no solution has been agreed upon




Parkers Farmhouse, Cow Hill Lane, Rishton
Condition: Very bad

Farmhouse dating to c1600. End bay used for farm storage, but remainder of the house is vacant. In urgent need of masonry, roof and rainwater goods repairs. The local authority is working with the owner to encourage repairs to arrest deterioration and preserve its rare surviving internal features.

Church of St Augustine of Hippo, Bolton Avenue, Accrington
Condition: Poor

Arts and Crafts Perpendicular style church built 1908-9. Some stonework and mortar is badly weathered. Internally, the church has damp patches caused by a leaking concealed gutter. There is also water ingress to the tower following repairs to the weather vane. Rainwater goods on all but the north side of church are damaged or entirely missing.

Church of St James, St James Street, Accrington
Condition: Poor

Church of 1763 enlarged in C19 and altered in the early C20. West tower of 1804, with large two storey nave and chancel extended in 1820s with the vestry in the north east corner. North east corner of the chancel has serious problems with water ingress and the building has been assessed as at high risk until this is resolved.


In or near Ribble Valley


Fooden Hall, Fooden Lane, Bolton-by-Bowland
Condition: Poor

17th Century country house of with stone rubble wall and stone slate roof.

The house is unoccupied and has suffered minor vandalism in recent years as well as lack of maintenance but repairs have obtained planning consent and are awaiting activation.

Bellmanpark lime kilns and part of an associated tramway 180 metres north west of Bellman Farm, Clitheroe

Lancashire Telegraph: Bellmanpark lime kilnsBellmanpark lime kilns

Photo © Alan Murray-Rust (cc-by-sa/2.0)

Condition: Poor

A rare example of a bank of four 19th century  lime kilns with tramway access for railway wagons. The tunnels and arches are suffering from collapse.

Water ingress and vegetation are also impacting the structure.

However, work is being carried out to improve the structure including laser scans and a structural survey.

A Historic England grant has funded soft capping of the kiln tops.

The Old Lower Hodder Bridge, Great Mitton / Aighton
Condition: Very bad

The bridge over the River Hodder was built 1562.

The bridge is being damaged by sapling and tree growth; it is missing stones and  allowing vegetation to become established and rain entry. A displaced stone in the cutwater may allow water entry when the river is high.

Whalley Abbey (west range), Whalley
Condition: Very bad

Lancashire Telegraph: Whalley AbbeyWhalley Abbey

(Photo © David Dixon (cc-by-sa/2.0))

Parts of the notable Whalley Abbey are in disrepair.

Emergency repairs to the roof and consolidation work to some of the ruins have been undertaken, but the fabric remains in need of significant investment. Historic England is in discussions with the owners about producing an options appraisal to identify an end use.

Church of St Mary and All Saints, Church Lane, Whalley
Condition: Poor

The stone’s mortar is the problem with this church – and decay will continue it is nor removed.

The joints between the coping stones appear to be leaking badly, causing damp internally.

Peter of Chester's Chapel, Whalley Cistercian Abbey, Whalley
Condition: Unsatisfactory




Grane Mill, Haslingden including boundary walls and north yard
Condition: Poor

Urgent repairs to the chimney have been completed. There are issues with asbestos contamination and the roof structure. The internal engine house machinery is being adversely affected by the damp environment

Church of St John the Evangelist, Burnley Road, Crawshawbooth, Rawtenstall
Condition: Very bad

Lancashire Telegraph: Church of St John the EvangelistChurch of St John the Evangelist

Photo © Robert Wade (cc-by-sa/2.0)

The building has suffered from water ingress, dry rot and pigeon infestation. It was closed for worship in 2012 and has been deteriorating since.

Church of St James, Church Street, Haslingden

Condition: Poor

This building is at risk because the tower is saturated. Water is also penetrating the south wall of the nave.

Church of St Thomas, Helmshore Road, Haslingden
Condition: Poor

The floor of this church is rotten and the interior plaster is wet.

An application for grant funding has been made to the National Lottery Heritage Fund's Grants for Places of Worship scheme.

Use Heritage England’s interactive map to find the ‘at risk’ buildings, structures and locations near you.