The Victorian Society’s list of buildings at risk includes an amusement park

Image caption, She says the buildings on the Victorian Society’s annual list are those most in need of saving.

An amusement park, a Gothic seaside villa, one of the world’s first tennis pavilions and a former school have been named as some of the country’s most at-risk Victorian buildings.

The ten locations on the list, which is compiled annually by the Victorian Society, are the locations most in need of rescue, according to the charity.

All are at least listed as monuments, indicating their historical or architectural importance.

Their listed status means the structures are already protected, but the society warned that without further action the regulations may not be sufficient.

Victorian Society president Griff Rhys-Jones called on people to stand up for the buildings.

“Look at the character shown here. They all add color and story to any urban landscape,” he said.

“Restoring and reusing it makes enormous commercial sense. They are attractions in themselves. They are already destinations. They should be part of the local pride.

“What do we want? A parking lot? A faceless block in their place? A whole bunch of new carbon pollution?

“If they already have so much color, continuity and history on their side?”

The 10 Victorian buildings at risk on the 2024 list are:

  • Kennington Boys’ School, London
  • The Kursaal, Essex
  • St Martins (formerly Roslyn Hoe), Devon
  • St Luke’s Chapel of the Nottingham City Hospital, Nottinghamshire
  • Rectory and Hall of St. Agnes, Liverpool
  • Chances Glassworks, West Midlands
  • Former Education Department Office, Derbyshire
  • Former Bramcote Tennis Pavilion, North Yorkshire
  • Jesmond Dene Banqueting Hall, Newcastle
  • Coal Exchange, Cardiff

Kennington Boys’ School, Lambeth

Image caption, Safety nets conceal the “spirelets and bonds of red brick, stone and terracotta” of Kennington Boys’ School

Kennington Boys’ School, described by Historic England as “a large symmetrical building of seven sections”, was built in 1912 by TJ Bailey.

It has “complex roofs including spirelets”, cladding of red brick, stone and terracotta, varied windows and “wall enrichment”.

The building later became home to the Charles Edward Brooke Girls’ School until it moved.

Water seeping into the building has caused significant internal damage and no future user has been identified.

The Kursaal, Southend-on-Sea

Image caption, The former amusement park is currently occupied by a supermarket chain

The Kursaal in Southend-on-Sea, Essex, opened in 1901 and is believed to be the world’s first purpose-built amusement park.

A circus, ballroom, arcade, dining room, billiards room, zoo and ice rink were all available to the public before falling into final disrepair.

Designed by architect George Sherrin, the site is now occupied by a Tesco Express.

St Martins, Ilfracombe

Image caption, St Martins – formerly known as Roslyn Hoe – has had a number of purposes, including serving as a guest house

St Martins in Torrs Park was built in the Gothic style by WM Robbins of Ilfracombe, North Devon.

It was first mentioned in 1994.

A plaque above the entrance bears the date 1880 and is first mentioned in the 1881 census.

From 1885 it served as a girls’ school.

It was previously known as Roslyn Hoe and had become a small hotel in the 1930s.

The house was described by a local architect as an “exercise in symmetry”.

Image caption, The building as it looked when it was a school

St Luke’s Chapel of the Nottingham City Hospital

Image source, Paul Tarry via historic England

Image caption, The St. Luke’s Chapel was originally part of the city’s workhouse

St Luke’s Chapel was probably completed in September 1902 and was originally a private chapel for use by the inmates and staff of the Nottingham workhouse.

The site of the workhouse became the site for the Nottingham City Hospital and the chapel remained open to workers and patients, closing when a new one opened.

Afterwards it was used as a warehouse for the hospital.

Rectory and Hall of St. Agnes, Liverpool

Image caption, The parsonage is located at the back of the church of the same name

The rectory at the rear of St Agnes Church in Greenbank, Liverpool, was built in 1887 by Norman Shaw.

It is known for its stone mullions, canted bay windows and recessed entrance.

Chances Glassworks, West Midlands

Image caption, The glass factory building is listed as a historic monument, as are some of the underground areas

Chances Glassworks in Smethwick was founded in the early 19th century, making window, optical and specialist glass – including window glass for the Houses of Parliament.

Significant archaeological areas are known to exist within the site, including the bases of up to six kilns and the major tunnels and flues, forming possibly the most extensive area of ​​surviving Victorian glass production in the country.

Former Education Department Office, Derby

Image source, Mark Somerfield via Historic England

Image caption, There are many architectural features to admire in the former offices of the education department

The former education department office in Derby was built in Renaissance style in 1893.

With molded architraves with pilasters and a truncated pyramidal roof topped with ironwork, the roof of the building is now falling into disrepair.

Bramcote Tennis Pavilion, Scarborough

Image caption, Bramcote Tennis Pavilion is described as “charming” and “historically significant”

The former Bramcote Tennis Pavilion, built in Scarborough in 1885, is Grade II listed for both social and architectural importance.

Described as a “charming” Arts and Crafts influenced building, it is also a “particularly good example of the bungalow-with-verandah form of sports buildings that epitomized the late Victorian and Edwardian periods”.

And because it has changing rooms for both sexes, the building illustrates “a particularly important socio-historical aspect” of the sport.

Jesmond Dene Banqueting Hall, Newcastle

Image caption, Evening parties were held for Lord Armstrong’s workers

The Jesmond Dene Banqueting Hall in Newcastle, which originally contained a water-powered organ, was built by John Dobson in 1860 for Lord William Armstrong.

Lord Armstrong wanted a venue large enough to accommodate his many guests, both VIPs from around the world and his own employees.

It was then extended by Norman Shaw in the following decade to include a gatehouse, reception hall and exhibition space.

The hall was last used for events in the 1970s and is earmarked for restoration by the Tyne & Wear Building Preservation Trust.

Coal Exchange, Cardiff

Image caption, The Coal Exchange recently reopened as a hotel

The first recorded business deal worth a million pounds was made on the Coal Exchange.

The stock exchange closed in 1958, but the impressive early 20th century architecture and interior remained, reflecting Cardiff’s important position in the coal trade.

It previously operated as a music venue, but was declared unsafe and in danger of collapse by Cardiff Council in 2013.

It reopened as a hotel in March this year.

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