A register of England’s historic sites most at risk of being lost forever as a result of neglect, decay or inappropriate development now includes a historic Bristol church.
English Heritage’s annual Heritage at Risk Register provides a snapshot of the health of England’s most valued historic places, and those most at risk of being lost.
It joins some 20 sites already on the register across Bristol, from Civil War fortifications to long dilapidated former grand Georgian mansions.
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St Peter’s is a large 15th century church which was damaged and reduced to a roofless shell in the first bombing raid on Bristol in November 1940.
Once located on the busy Peter Street, its ruins within Castle Park are maintained by Bristol City Council as a memorial to the civilian dead of the Second World War.
The Grade II* listed building – thought to be on the site of Bristol’s earliest church – is being added to the register as high level stonework is deteriorating and large areas of internal paving need attention.
Some emergency works are taking place to start securing its most vulnerable areas.
There is also an aspiration to increase public access to and understanding of the building’s story, while respecting its religious and spiritual significance.
Bristol’s other sites on the at risk register are:
- Stoke Park and the anti-aircraft gun site at Purdown
- the Whitfield Tabernacle in Kingsdown
- the Church of All Hallows in Easton
- 28 and 31 & 32 Portland Square in St Paul’s
- the Stokes Croft conservation area and the Carriageworks building
- St Michael on the Mount Church
- St Mary-le-Port Church in Castle Park
- the Civil War earthworks on Brandon Hill
- Mortimer House in Clifton
- Brunel’s swing bridge at the Cumberland Basin
- Ashton Court Mansion
- Brislington House and grounds
- St Bernadette Church in Hengrove
- the stair turret at Inns Court Vicarage in Knowle
- St Peter’s Church in Bishopsworth
- two lodges and attached garden walls opposite former Kings Weston stables
- St Mary the Virgin Church in Henbury
- heavy anti-aircraft battery at Avonmouth
In better news for the city, the Trinity Centre has been taken off the Heritage At Risk Register after the former Holy Trinity Church, built in 1829 and financed by the proceeds of Waterloo, has seen more than £2m spent conserving, repairing and restoring the building.
Main photo: Alison Hobbs, building conservator, repointing the east end of St Peter’s Church in July 2019 – photo courtesy of Historic England