Residents vow to save ‘crumbling’ historic site on national ‘at risk’ register

The latest Heritage at Risk register from Historic England has listed grade two listed St Andrew’s Church in Althorne as under threat.

Maldon and Burnham Standard: Inside: there are lots of signs of decay inside the churchInside: there are lots of signs of decay inside the church (Image: Lucien Taylor)

The register highlights heritage sites which are at risk of neglect, decay or inappropriate development.

The parish church of St Andrew in Althorne was built in the late 13th Century, with alterations in the early 16th Century and restoration in the 19th Century.

A spokesman for Historic England said: “There is significant structural cracking to the late 13th Century south nave, early 16th Century chancel and other areas in the church, with windows propped and the chancel roped off.

Maldon and Burnham Standard: Outside: picturesque churchOutside: picturesque church (Image: Lucien Taylor)

“The church building is temporarily closed and fenced off due to safety issues, but the community are passionate about saving and revitalising this important building and a fundraising strategy is under development.

“An exciting heritage project has been worked up as part of an application to the National Lottery Heritage Fund, which includes a village heritage centre in the church, research into the village war memorial, mapping the graveyard, reminiscence recording, drone footage trails around the village and using the church hall as a digital hub for the community.”

Parochial Church Council member Lorraine Collins said: “As the oldest and most important landmark building in the area, the church can be seen for miles around.

Maldon and Burnham Standard: Damage: cracks on the outside of the churchDamage: cracks on the outside of the church (Image: Lucien Taylor)

“Central to village life, it has offered faith, hope and sanctuary. By securing its future with new projects and a wider community involvement, St Andrew’s can be restored to remain integral to village life for generations to come.”

The register also lists sites which have been saved and removed from the at risk list, which included Creeksea Place.

Since the start of the register in 1998, about 6,800 entries have been removed, which is around three-quarters of the entries on the original list.

Maldon and Burnham Standard: Broken: attempts to prevent future decay have been madeBroken: attempts to prevent future decay have been made (Image: Lucien Taylor)

Creeksea Place is an Elizabethan manor house in Burnham which has now improved enough to be taken off the register.

A spokesman for Historic England said: “The Elizabethan manor house is now thriving thanks to generations of devoted family care.”

Creeksea Place was originally built in 1569, comprising three or four ranges with a courtyard.

Maldon and Burnham Standard: Saved: Creeksea Place in BurnhamSaved: Creeksea Place in Burnham (Image: Creeksea Place)

The south range was destroyed in 1740 and only the east and north wings now remain.

A spokesman for Historic England said: “Over five generations of ownership, the Bertorelli family have cared for, restored and brought to life this historic manor house.

“Today, Creeksea Place operates as a wedding venue and holiday let. A number of community activities are held throughout the year, including open gardens and heritage open days.

“Creeksea Place was supported by Historic England through a cultural recovery fund grant to support the building’s ongoing restoration project.”