South Tyneside's historic seafront lime kilns removed from at-risk register

One of South Tyneside’s most iconic landmarks has been removed from the national at-risk register.

Thursday, 4th November 2021, 12:01 am

Historic England today, Thursday, November 4, publishes its annual Heritage at Risk Register, the yearly health-check of England’s most valued historic places and those most at risk of being lost forever as a result of neglect, decay or inappropriate development.

Over the last year, 18 special places across the North East have been removed from the Register – among them the historic lime kilns on the seafront near Marsden.

The 150-year-old kilns were built in the 1870s to produce lime for farming, construction and the steel and chemical industries, including Consett Steelworks.

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They were closely integrated with the railways so that coal from nearby Whitburn Colliery could be unloaded directly from the railway trucks, along with limestone from the neighbouring Marsden Quarry – now operated by Owen Pugh.

Abandoned since their use was stopped in the 1960s, the kilns have now been saved thanks to a partnership between the firm and Historic England.

Owen Pugh provided half of the funding to consolidate the kilns, some of it in kind through work to clear the site, improve access and reinstate timbers on the front of the kilns which provided structural integrity and helped the kilns withstand the effects of intense heat.

Other sites removed from the at-risk register include Doxford House in Sunderland and a stretch of Hadrian's Wall from Cockmount Hill to Walltown.

The kilns have been saved

Six sites in the North East have been added to the register because of concerns about their condition, including Washingwells Roman Fort in Gateshead.

Trevor Mitchell, Regional Director for the North East and Yorkshire at Historic England, said: “Our heritage is an anchor for us all in testing times. A place to live, to visit, to enjoy.

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"Despite the challenges we have all faced recently, this year’s Heritage at Risk Register shows that looking after our special places can contribute to the country’s economic and social recovery, bring communities together and improve people’s lives.

“The 18 sites saved this year in the North East show what’s possible with strong partnerships, dedicated individuals and funding support.”

Across England, 233 entries have been removed from the list, while 130 entries have been added.

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