Heritage At Risk Register 2021: The Sunderland buildings and conservation areas at risk of being lost

Heritage England have released their Heritage at Risk register for 2021.

The annual Heritage at Risk register offers an update on which buildings and areas around the country are most at risk from being lost forever.

This year’s register sees eight points of interest in and around Sunderland, with no local areas either added or removed since the 2020 edition.

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Used as a part of the UK Government’s official statistics, the register highlights cultural assets which are at risk through neglect, decay or development which is inappropriate for the area according to Heritage England.

The amount of listed buildings around Sunniside make it an at risk area.

Grade one and two listed buildings and registered parks and gardens are covered by the register, in addition to scheduled monuments, historic battlefields, protected wreck sites and conservation areas.

Within Sunderland there are three conservation areas and they all fall next to each other. The Sunniside area is listed as an under threat area with the condition of the area listed as “very bad.” However, the register has decided the vulnerability of the area is low and the site itself is improving.

The south side of the Riverside is also down as an area to be protected thanks to its 11 listed buildings. Much like Sunniside, the area is seen to be improving but remains under the ‘very bad’ condition label.

Northern Hendon, named ‘Old Sunderland’ in the register, is also a listed conservation area due to the industrial history of the site and the ten listed buildings in the vicinity. It is seen to be less vulnerable than the neighbouring areas to the south of the Wear and is said to be improving from its “very bad” condition.

Ploughing and cultivation word has lead to an area of Hastings Hill being listed.

Within the Old Sunderland area sits the Church of Holy Trinity, where the fabric of the building is set to be deteriorating with significant structural movement towards the east side of the building. Thanks to funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund in 2018, repairs have begun on the site.

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Another religious site, the Guru Gobind Singh Gurdwara Sikh Centre on Ryhope Road was most recently repaired in 2014, but is not yet safe according to the register. The site, which was originally used as a church, is a grade two listed building with urgent care needed for the spire.

Further to the west, a section of Hastings Hill which overlooks the A1 is considered to be at risk due to ploughing which could impact archaeological searches. The area 600 metres south of Hastings Hill Farm and is considered to be a religious ritual and funerary site.

Monkwearouth Station Museum, which currently holds the Fans Museum near the Stadium of Light, is another much loved point of interest. The grade two listed building is consdered to have a maintenance backlog with stopping slow decay listed as the main priority for the North Bridge Street site.

Finally, Cornhill Road’s Chapel of Light is also considered to be at risk of slow decay with the wall paintings in the church at perticular risk. However, the register has listed that there are ongoing talks to ensure the preservation of the building.