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Friday, 18 April 2014

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Bid to safeguard ‘at risk’ Millom castle

A CENTURIES-OLD Grade I listed building in Millom is “at risk” according to English Heritage.

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SURVEY The inside of Millom Castle. Inset, Copeland heritage champion, Councillor Mike McVeigh, who was pleased with lack of Grade II listed buildings in Copeland to be deemed “at risk” by English Heritage, despite the need to secure the structure of the Grade I listed castle remains

Millom Castle is suffering from a major problem with sapling growth on upstanding ruins according to a risk register.

The 14th century building is a “scheduled ancient monument” but is also on the site of a farm and is not open to the public.

A spokeswoman from English Heritage said: “Millom Castle was built in the early 14th century, and altered considerably in the 16th and 17th centuries. Its ruins are designated as a scheduled ancient monument.

“There are problems with saplings growing on the upstanding ruins and there are several areas which need consolidation or underpinning to safeguard the castle’s remains.

“English Heritage’s senior conservation engineer has advised on a programme of work which would put the ruins into good structural order. Discussions continue about ways in which the work could be funded and carried out.”

Elsewhere in the borough, news was better after a “Heritage at Risk” pilot scheme to assess the country’s Grade II listed buildings published its results.

Copeland only has seven buildings out of more than 400 deemed to be at risk, and a further 37 classified as vulnerable.

While English Heritage compiles a list of all Grade I buildings itself, there have never been enough resources to document the condition of Grade II buildings. The survey was carried out by 38 volunteers over several months, looking at the state of buildings and windows, and assessing whether structures were wind and weather proof.Councillor Mike McVeigh, who is also the Copeland heritage champion, said: “I am absolutely delighted with the results of the survey.

“The buildings have clearly been well looked after.”

Copeland applied to be on the Grade II pilot scheme and is one of only three councils in the north to be selected for the trial.

Henry Owen-John, English Heritage planning and conservation director, said: “The key message is turning people who love history into people who play an active role in the preservation and protection of these remarkable buildings.”

Have your say

Surely the current owners should have some sort of insurance to cover the repairs. Maybe the owners who are also custodians should hand over the upkeep and ownership to English heritage etc. It'll be too late when it's a pile of rubble. If the castle was in the national park it would be a thriving tourist attraction. It's a great historic asset to the town, shame us townsfolk can't visit it.

Posted by Millomite on 22 October 2013 at 17:44

Puzzled. If the farmer refused the public entry, should she/he be liable for its upkeep? Why is the public purse expected to cough up?

Posted by Charles Kanks on 21 October 2013 at 11:08

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