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Heritage Risk Register Launched

‘Heritage at Risk’ Register launched

Historic England, the government adviser on the Historic Environment, launched their

annual ‘Heritage at Risk’ register. The register gives an annual snapshot of England’s

historic places.

The Heritage at Risk register is now in its 20th year and to mark this, Historic England have

published their top 20 picks of sites rescued over the last two decades. The medieval chapel

on St Cuthbert's Island, one of the most iconic and historically significant archaeological sites

on the Northumberland Coast, has been highlighted as one of those conservation


Conservation work to St, Cuthbert’s Island was undertaken in 2017 as part of the National

Lottery funded Peregrini Lindisfarne Landscape Partnership scheme. Supported by £1.4m of

National Lottery funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), the scheme enabled the

conservation of eight significant built heritage assets on Holy Island and was supported by

additional funds from Northumberland County Council, the Northumberland Coast AONB

Partnership and the War Memorial Trust.

The significance of St Cuthbert's Island, the small tombolo off to the west of the Holy Island

of Lindisfarne, can not be underestimated. The wealth of national designations illustrates the

immense value of the delicate environment and heritage. Sited by Bede as the location for St

Cuthbert’s first island refuge in 676 means the island also has huge spiritual significance and

draws many visitors.

Whilst very high tides have always had the potential to impact on the west end of the

Scheduled chapel, more extreme weather events in recent years have taken an evident toll

on the historic fabric. This has resulted in the loss of historic fabric and an increasing risk to

the integrity of the buried archaeology.

The National Lottery funded Peregrini Lindisfarne Landscape Partnership project was a

remarkable and timely opportunity to address the increasing erosion in an innovative way.

The project's conservation architect, Tristan Spicer of Doonan Architects and the

conservation builder Heritage Consolidation, developed a suite of conservation options for

the variety of sites across the Peregrini area of which St Cuthbert’s Island was the most

important. The small bespoke gabions, filled with stones from the foreshore, were moulded

to the site and have established a subtle, sustainable and clearly definable intervention

which has proved incredibly successful in arresting the erosion of the site.

The other sites that benefited from conservation work were the Bark Pots, Popple Well,

Osborne’s Fort, the Palace, the War Memorial and Market Cross.

Sara Rushton, Northumberland County Council Conservation Manager said “Thanks to

players of the National Lottery, we’ve been able to secure the future of a range of

remarkable heritage sites across Holy Island and ensure that generations to come are able

to experience the tranquility and isolation of the chapel remains on St. Cuthbert’s Island.”


Photograph - The medieval Chapel on St Cuthbert’s Island, showing the gabion basket


Credit - Gary Simpson of Heritage Consolidation

Notes to editors

Heritage Lottery Fund

Thanks to National Lottery players, we invest money to help people across the UK explore,

enjoy and protect the heritage they care about - from the archaeology under our feet to the

historic parks and buildings we love, from precious memories and collections to rare wildlife. . Follow us on Twitter , Facebook and Instagram and use #NationalLottery

Peregrini Lindisfarne

Peregrini is a landscape partnership project made up of community, voluntary and public

sector organisations. The project has received £1.37m funding through the Heritage Lottery

Fund and is part of their national Landscape Partnership Programme. Partner’s funds and

other grants dictate that over the last three years the £1.82milliion project funded a wide

variety of conservation and engagement projects on Holy Island and the adjacent mainland.

The Peregrini Lindisfarne Landscape Partnership Scheme is managed by a Partnership of

professional and community representatives from Holy Island and surrounding shore side

area. The lead organisation for the Scheme is the Northumberland Coast Area of

Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) Partnership, hosted by Northumberland County


The Northumberland Coast AONB

The Northumberland Coast has been designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

(AONB) since 1958 in recognition of the quality of the landscape. AONBs are a national

landscape designation and together with National Parks they make up our finest landscapes.

The Northumberland Coast AONB covers 135 sq kms between Berwick and the Coquet

estuary. The area is best known for its sweeping sandy beaches and open views, rolling

dunes and rocky cliffs, isolated islands, dramatic castles, ancient relics and rich wildlife.

The Northumberland Coast AONB Partnership

The Northumberland Coast AONB Partnership is a broad partnership of representatives from

local authorities, statutory organisations, interest groups and the local community. The

Partnership guides management of the AONB, offers advice to land managers and the local

community and takes action to improve the wellbeing of the AONB for all those who value it,

now and in the future. To carry out this work, the Partnership employs a small team which is

hosted by Northumberland County Council and jointly funded by Northumberland County

Council and DEFRA.

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