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EH puts £400m price tag on saving buildings at risk

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About £400 million is needed to rescue England's damaged Grade I and Grade II* buildings, says English Heritage, which has launched its second Buildings at Risk Register.

The list includes castles, keeps, a lighthouse, churches, and the Grade II* Tecton Brown Bear Pit and kiosk at Dudley Zoo. Almost 30,000 buildings in the country are listed Grade I or II* and one in 25 are at risk of dereliction.

Some of the Grade I buildings include Plymouth's 1823 Oddfellows Hall by John Foulston and a 1759 lighthouse by John Smearton. The Mynde, a fifteenth-century country home in Much Dewchurch in Herefordshire, with additions by William Atkinson in the 1900s, also made the list. So did another country home, rot-infested St Giles House in Wimborne St Giles, with interior work possibly by Soane, John Webb and Henry Flitcroft.

English Heritage denotes the danger to buildings using hard-hat symbols - six means immediate risk. It said the report was a 'working tool' aimed at keeping attention focused on neglected buildings, one in six of which would be economic to repair.

The problem was often not the building but the owner or external influences like planning blight. The 1999 register can be obtained on the Internet: @ www.english-heritage.org.uk

save Britain's Heritage has also launched an at-risk register on the Internet. Its report includes the 90 per cent of buildings at risk which do not qualify for the English Heritage register because they are Grade II. www.savebritainsheritage.org or tel 0171 253 3500.

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