Nominations for Top 10 Endangered Buildings 2020 now open!

The Victorian Society has opened nominations for this years Top 10 Endangered Buildings campaign

The Victorian Society asks residents in England and Wales to nominate threatened Victorian buildings for their Top 10 Endangered Buildings of 2020 list.

This is a fantastic chance to get involved with the fight to save our heritage. To nominate a building simply email [email protected] with the year, location, and why the building deserves to be included in our campaign. Nominated buildings must be dated between 1837 and 1914, and situated in either England or Wales.

Have you noticed an abandoned and derelict Victorian building near you? Are you worried a beautiful Victorian building is going to be demolished? Nominate the building for a chance for it to be saved.

Our biggest push of the year to save the most at risk Victorian and Edwardian buildings is fast approaching. Our annual Top 10 Endangered Buildings campaign brings to the forefront the most dilapidated and neglected buildings around England and Wales that are in desperate need of public attention to be saved.

Griff Rhys-Jones, President of the Victorian Society states, ‘It is that time of year again. Time to assemble that list of beloved and imaginative buildings in need of our attention. The Top 10 Endangered Buildings List really matters. When a serious case of arson happened in Ipswich docks this year, one of the reasons that the story gained traction was because the Victorian Society had highlighted the parlous state of the Tolly Cobbold Brewery in their annual Top 10 List. In our Top 10 List last year, we saw the sheer extent of Victorian ingenuity and imagination, ranging from schools to tunnels. So please have a think and nominate buildings that need to be noticed. The Victorian legacy is still under threat and this is an opportunity to help the Society get well-deserved public support for its hard and unceasing work. We need your nominations.’

The predominant aim of our campaign is to bring forgotten buildings into the public sphere. The Victorian Society harnesses the media coverage the campaign gains to highlight buildings that would otherwise lie forgotten and decaying, and utilise this publicity to try and alter their fate for the better.

2019 Top 10 update:

Hope for Cowbridge School in Wales

In a small town in south Wales stands a historic former school building that lies derelict and under threat from demolition. Cowbridge School, built in 1896, was one of ninety-four County Intermediate Schools designed to cater for children who had little or no prospect of education due to their social status or financial situation. A major breakthrough in the campaign to save the building took place in March 2020, when a petition to stop the demolition of the school gained over 5000 signatures - enough to trigger a debate, which will take place when the disruption caused by the coronavirus crisis subsides.

Fight to save Queensbury Tunnel in Yorkshire continues

The Queensbury Tunnel, built in 1874-78, is a disused railway tunnel in West Yorkshire. The now rapidly deteriorating tunnel symbolises the irreplaceable infrastructure legacy left to us by the Victorians. The tunnel is at the centre of a heated debate - campaigners argue for the tunnel to be restored into a cycle path, whereas the Department for Transport plans to fill in sections of the tunnel and leave it to collapse. The outlook for the tunnel now looks more positive. The planning application for abandonment has so far received over 6000 objections. Last month the Secretary of State for Transport stated he has taken “a personal interest” in the tunnel, explaining; “The plan and official advice was to fill it in but I have specifically prevented that from happening to come up with a better solution.” We hope this historic tunnel will be used to give new life to the communities it connects rather than being lost forever.

The publicity gained through this campaign helps to drive overall public interest in retaining and protecting the Victorian and Edwardian buildings that are all around us. If you know of a building that is at risk from demolition, neglect, or inappropriate development, nominating it for our campaign provides a tangible path to saving it.

Nominated buildings must be in England or Wales, and built between 1837 and 1914, and nominations must contain the building’s name/location, year it was built, brief description of its history and/or architecture, why you think it should be in the Top 10 i.e. the threat it is under, and at least one good photo.

The deadline for nominations is Friday 17th July. It is not a voting system – there is no benefit to a building being nominated more than once. The final Top 10 list will be announced on Tuesday 15th September.


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