Wednesday 11 September 2013

The Brits that are championing England’s architectural heritage

What do a London pub purchased by the community, a Durham lead mine, a Somerset silk mill and Northumbrian battlefield all have in common? Well, they are all amongst the seventeen nominations for rescued buildings and sites in this year’s English Heritage Angel Awards in London next month.

The awards are being backed by Andrew Lloyd Webber in order to celebrate the work of groups and individuals who have saved these places of great interest from destruction.

Lloyd Webber said: “I offer my heartfelt congratulations to the candidates shortlisted for this year’s English Heritage Angel Awards who have been selected from a hugely impressive field of applicants. These Awards celebrate the time, energy and passion of volunteers across England who help to preserve our country’s architectural heritage; acknowledging these unsung heroes is incredibly important and has contributed to an increase in the number of sites being taken off English Heritage’s At Risk register.”

One of the great things about architecture is that to save important bits of it is easier than you think. It’s not all castles and palaces, as the awards show. Important architecture is all around us. Some of it might even be in your own home.

For example, if you are blessed with period features like sash windows, wooden doors, rosettes, cornicing and even some of the brickwork, then you might be sitting on important architectural evidence. That means that when it comes time to decorate you need to be even more careful about looking after the important features of your home.

All too often people don’t quite realise what they have got and destroy or remove these period features that should be preserved. Do a good job of renovating, with the help of professionals every now and then, and who knows, this time next year you might even be up for an award.