This week Historic England published its latest Heritage at Risk register, the annual snapshot of the health of England’s historic places. The list highlights the heritage assets, such as listed buildings, or scheduled monuments, that are at risk due to neglect, decay or inappropriate development, or are vulnerable to becoming so. It is hoped that by putting a spotlight on the places in need of help, people and organisations will be encouraged to repair, invest in, and give these buildings new life.

In Rossendale, Historic England has identified seven at risk places. They are:

  • Bacup Town Centre
  • Rawtenstall Town Centre
  • Church of the St Thomas, Helmshore Road, Haslingden
  • Church of St Bartholomew, Whitworth Rake, Whitworth
  • Church of St James, Church Street, Haslingden
  • Grane Mill power unit, Lane Side Road, Haslingden
  • Church of St John the Evangelist, Burnley Road, Crawshawbooth
St John’s, Crawshawbooth, one of the buildings identified on the Register.

The publication of the list has highlighted some good news for Rossendale, with Bacup Town Centre being marked as “improving.” The Townscape Heritage Initiative project has been running in Bacup since 2013, demonstrating that, with the right investment, hard work and collaboration between stakeholders, we can ensure our heritage assets are conserved.

While we at Valley Heritage welcome the publication of the list, we are reminded that the buildings listed only represent a snapshot of a wider issue affecting historic buildings across the borough. In Rossendale, there is an abundance of heritage assets – both listed and undesignated – that are in dire need of repair to ensure their future.

These buildings vary from churches and houses to mills and other industrial buildings. While th­­ey may differ in function, ownership, and state of decline, each represents a piece of the valley’s rich history. Losing them not only means a physical loss, but the loss of the memories associated with these places and the valley’s cultural, historic, and civic identity.

Haslingden town centre is rich with unlisted heritage assets which need protection

Ensuring that this does not happen is why Valley Heritage exists. We aim to rescue the valley’s assets, address their commercial economic viability, and bring them back into sustainable use. In summary, we aim to give historic buildings a role in Rossendale’s future, while respecting their place in our past.

However, we can not do this alone. The support of volunteers is crucial to helping us achieve our ambitions and we are currently seeking active and engaged volunteers with experience in fundraising, marketing and event planning.

If you’re interested in getting involved, please drop Jenna an email: