‘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
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.
www.hlf.org.uk . Follow us on Twitter , Facebook and Instagram and use #NationalLottery
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.