Heritage at Risk in the Eastern Region

© David Gill

The RSA Heritage Index (2020) provides an important source for considering how heritage is placed at risk across the six counties. Norfolk has the highest percentage of Grade I listed buildings at risk with 7.7 per cent, followed by Bedfordshire at 5.3 per cent. Norfolk also has the highest percentage of Grade II* listed buildings at risk with 3.5 per cent. Grade II listed buildings are largely considered not to be at risk across the region. However, scheduled sites are far more at risk: Cambridgeshire stands at 16.6 per cent, followed by Essex at 8.7 per cent.

How can such fragile and vulnerable heritage be protected across the region?

Verulamium: Roman walls

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Verulamium Roman walls © David Gill

The Roman city of Verulamium (near St Albans) was placed in State Guardianship in 1931. This image from the 1970s shows the Ministry signs in place. The walls are now in the care of English Heritage.

Berkhampstead Castle: Guidebook

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1948 (repr. 1966)

Berkhampstead Castle, Hertfordshire, is now in the care of English Heritage. It was founded as a motte and bailey castle c. 1170. The castle was placed in State Guardianship in 1930. The first guide was written by Sir Charles Peers, Chief Inspector of Ancient Monuments (1932), and then reissued in 1936. The post-war leaflet appeared in 1948 (and was reprinted in 1966). The 1936 edition had eight pages of text although this was compressed to four pages by the 1966 reprint (with two additional pages of plan). The text appears to be identical.

The early editions had a foldout plan, but by 1966 this was printed as a double-page spread (pp. 2-3).

“Saved for the nation” in Welwyn

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My copy of Russell Meiggs’ The Athenian Empire (reprinted 1975) contains two (numbered) tickets to a lecture on ‘The story of three Roman sites saved for the nation’. This was a lecture hosted by the Welwyn Archaeological Society in the mid to late 1970s (and with a tpq, I suspect, of 1975). I would imagine one of the sites was the Roman bath-house under the A1(M) at Welwyn.

Can anybody provide a little more information?

Welwyn Roman Bath-house

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The Welwyn Roman bath-house is preserved under a special vault under the A1(M) in Hertfordshire. Details about visiting times can be found here (along with pdf guides in English, French and German). Tony Rook produced a small folded card guide (for 10p) on behalf of the Welwyn Archaeological Society (1975). A notice about the “Dicket Mead” excavation (as it was known in 1972), conducted by the Lockleys Archaeological Trust, appeared in the reprint of J.B. Ward Parkins, ‘The Roman villa at Lockleys, Welwyn’, The Antiquaries Journal 18, 4 (October, 1938) 339-76 (my copy has a pencil price of 50 p). The reprint contains a short introduction by Rook. Lockleys is close to the bath-house.

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