Two Liverpool City Region sites are featured in the 2018 Top 10 Endangered Buildings List, it has been revealed.
National architecture charity the Victorian Society has compiled the list as it aims to help save Victorian and Edwardian sites by increasing awareness and appreciation of them.
The Grade II-listed Merseyside Centre for the Deaf building (main picture) in Liverpool, which has been closed since 2007, is said to be in a “severe condition” with urgent works needed to repair and secure it from further damage.
Initially built in 1887 as a chapel for the deaf community, the building was run as a community centre for 20 years after its 1986 closure before rising costs and ageing membership forced it to shut, and despite transformational ideas for its use it remains in danger.
Anna Shelley, conservation adviser at the Victorian Society, says: “It’s a beautiful and bright red-brick building, evoking images of fairy-tale castles with its turrets, stained glass windows and striking octagonal roof. But the turrets are full of vegetation, the stained glass is smashed and the roof is collapsing.
“This fairy-tale is rapidly becoming a nightmare. This building needs a saviour, and fast.”
In Aintree, remaining Grade II-listed factory buildings at Hartley’s Village, built during 1886-95, where the former Hartley’s jam factory once stood, have been “neglected and are now largely derelict” according to the society.
The village’s main factory building was demolished in the early 20th Century and the 49 houses built by Sir Hartley for workers have been successfully reused, but the society says the three old industrial buildings which still remain deserve to be “protected, restored and celebrated”.
The whole site became a Conservation Area in 2011.
Griff Rhys Jones, president of the Victorian Society, adds: “These are pieces of the history of the Victorian era and its industrial, spiritual and cultural beliefs – incredible. And this makes their current sad and neglected state even harder to swallow.
“Every single building on this list is crying out for redevelopment and could make something truly wonderful for its community.”
Other sites in this year’s top 10 include The Winter Gardens in Great Yarmouth; Bromley-by-Bow gasholders in London; the former Legat’s School of Ballet near Rotherfield, Kent; Oldway Mansion in Paignton, Devon; John Summers Steelworks in Shotton, Wales; Langley Maltings in Sandwell, West Midlands; Brandwood End Cemetery Chapels in Birmingham; and St Mary’s Convent Church in Leeds.