Goldsmiths' Alms Houses at risk say English Heritage

East Churchfield Road buildings suffering from dry rot

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English Heritage have named the Goldsmiths' Alms Houses on East Churchfield Road in their listing of architecturally important buildings they feel are not being maintained sufficiently.

The Register, published annually, brings together information on listed buildings known to English Heritage to be ‘at risk' through neglect and decay.

The Alms Houses were built in1811 by Charles Beazley. They comprise three ranges of 2-storey almshouses arranged around an open court with a central stucco-fronted chapel. The almshouses are in fair condition and partially occupied. The chapel's interior was stripped out in the late 1980s and its interior is now derelict and suffering from dry rot. Pre-application discussions have been held with new owners for conversion to housing.

Inclusion in the Register implies no criticism of the owners of the buildings and monuments concerned, many of whom are actively seeking ways to secure their future.

A spokesperson for English Heritage said, "The Register is not an end in itself. It is intended to keep attention focused on neglected historic buildings and monuments. It is a working tool that enables us to define the scale of the problem and establish the extent to which these important buildings are at risk. This information helps us to establish the resources necessary to bring these buildings back into good repair and, where appropriate, beneficial use, and to prioritise action by English Heritage, local authorities, building preservation trusts, funding bodies, and everyone who can play a part in securing the future of these outstanding and irreplaceable parts of our heritage."

July 12, 2004