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Heritage at Risk

There are 433 entries on the Heritage at Risk register for the West Midlands, consisting of a range of heritage assets including scheduled monuments, listed buildings, conservation areas and registered parks and gardens.

Our Heritage at Risk team has identified ten priorities for the West Midlands. Keep checking this page for updates on these priorities throughout the year.

Snodhill Castle

The Marches are defined by the remains of castles built by the Normans as they sought to control and subdue post-Conquest rebellion. Snodhill Castle is a rare survival of a shell keep with gatehouse and high status accommodation occupied from the 12th to the 16th century. The scheduled monument includes the motte, bailey, remains of the keep, gatehouse, bailey walls and towers, defensive earthworks and remnants of fishponds. The castle sits high in the landscape, with commanding views out over the Herefordshire countryside and into Wales.

After years of preparation, work to repair Snodhill Castle in Herefordshire - thought to be one of the earliest in the chain of castles built in the Dore Valley during the 11th century - began in April 2017. The repairs to the castle, are funded by Historic England through a Repair Grant of £474,000.

Aerial view of Snodhill Castle
Snodhill Castle aerial view in February 2017, after scrub clearance and propping works © Snodhill Castle Preservation Trust and reproduced with kind permission

Snodhill Castle is a scheduled monument that has been on Historic England's Heritage at Risk Register since 1998. Decades of neglect have seen sections of the castle's walls collapse and the castle itself lost to view, and completely inaccessible, under uncontrolled growth of brambles and scrub.

Last summer, after years of negotiation, ownership of the castle was finally transferred to the newly established Snodhill Castle Preservation Trust (SCPT). Volunteers from the SCPT, with help from Historic England, carried out vegetation clearance so the castle is accessible and repairs can begin. Thanks to this work, it is once again possible to see the full extent of the bailey, and appreciate the drama of the motte and gatehouse.

Urgent repairs funded by grant

Back in 2014, Historic England began survey work at the site of the castle, identifying and designing the necessary urgent repairs. In the spring of 2016 Historic England finished emergency propping of the most dangerous parts of the castle walls, and then worked with the SCPT in finalising the urgent repairs that would be funded by a Repair Grant.

The £474,000 provided by Historic England will pay for urgent stabilisation and consolidation of the remains of the keep, gatehouse, flanking walls on the castle motte, north tower of the castle bailey and south bastion in the bailey wall. SCPT has employed Sally Strachey Historic Conservation and Alastair Coey Architects, Historic Building Specialists to undertake the work which is due to be completed in October 2017.

The repair of the castle remains will uncover some parts of its structure that have not been seen for generations and Hereford Archaeology will be on-hand to record these discoveries as they are made. Historic England's Investigation Team is carrying out research into the history and construction of the castle and the SCPT hope to use this, and any archaeological discoveries made during the repairs, to inform future archaeological investigation of the castle.

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