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Chichester Cathedral Bell Tower Added to Heritage at Risk Register (posted 21 October 2016)

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The Bell Tower at Chichester Cathedral is added to the 2016 Heritage at Risk Register

The Bell Tower at Chichester Cathedral
The Bell Tower at Chichester Cathedral

The Bell Tower at Chichester Cathedral was built around 1400 and although several medieval cathedrals once had similarly detached towers, Chichester is the only one to possess a surviving original.  Chichester Cathedral's Bell Tower has been added to the 2016 Heritage at Risk Register.

Ruth Poyner, Chichester Cathedral's Spokeswoman says: 'We are pleased to see the Bell Tower in the Heritage at Risk Register as we highlighted this matter to Historic England.  The Bell Tower is a significant historic feature of the city and is of national importance as a rare example of a medieval freestanding Bell Tower.  The building is structurally safe but the stonework is deteriorating over time, consequently netting was added in the 1990s to catch any loose falling stonework.  The Tower remains in regular use by our bell ringers and also by the Bell Tower Drop in Project which offers activities for young people after school.  We are committed to developing plans to conserve and develop the Bell Tower for future use and estimate at this stage that the repair of the stonework will cost in the region of £5 million.'

Historic England (formerly English Heritage) have been collecting information on the condition of England's built heritage since 1991.  The first national Register of buildings at risk was published in 1998 and in 2011 they started adding information on the condition of listed places of worship.

The national Heritage at Risk Register includes:

  • Grade I and II* listed buildings at risk including places of worship
  • Grade II listed buildings at risk in London including places of worshop
  • Grade II listed places of worship at risk outside London

Historic England's main role in securing the future of listed buildings is to provide practical advice, guidance and resources to owners, local authorities and developers.  Their involvement in cases is determined by the significance of the building and the complexity of the issues.  They can offer help and support with projects including analysing the problems facing a building, helping to identify the opportunities a building presents, helping to broker solutions and providing information on funding.

Heritage at Risk 2016
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