Coventry’s 14th century Charterhouse has been removed from Historic England’s Heritage at Risk Register.
Today, Historic England has published its annual Heritage at Risk Register for 2022. The Register gives an annual snapshot of the critical health of England’s most valued historic places and those most at risk of being lost as a result of neglect, decay or inappropriate development.
Over the past year, 13 historic buildings and sites have been saved and their futures secured. Many have been rescued thanks to heritage partners and dedicated teams of volunteers, community groups, charities, owners and councils, working together with Historic England.
Historic England awarded £1,220,523 in repair grants to 11 historic places and sites, including conservation areas, in the West Midlands on the Heritage at Risk Register over the past year, including Coventry’s medieval Charterhouse.
A Grade I listed former monastery given to the people of Coventry, Charterhouse is nearly ready to serve the local community again.
The tall three storey multi-phase dwelling and its precinct walls are all that is left above ground of a former Carthusian Monastery founded by the monk Robert Palmer in 1381. It was one of nine Carthusian Houses established in England and Scotland and dedicated to St Anne: it received the King’s patronage, was granted lands and incomes in 14 counties and grew steadily until the Dissolution.
Thanks to generous funding from various grants, including a £520,000 contribution from Historic England, it will reopen as a heritage visitor centre and educational attraction at Easter 2023.
Charterhouse was added to the Heritage at Risk Register in 2013 because it was not being fully utilised, the roof was in poor condition with evidence of water ingress and a lack of environmental control threatened the condition and stability of the exceptional wall paintings. It has recently been the subject of a major refurbishment scheme to repair and re-purpose the building and surrounding site as a heritage attraction within the London Road Conservation Area. The cost of the repairs project is over £4,000,000. The project has been primarily funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund. Historic England’s grant was allocated specifically for works that addressed structural instability and fabric repairs.
Work started on site in October 2019 and whilst the project has yet to be finished, all the works to the roof and external building were completed in May 2022. The wall paintings have also undergone a programme of conservative repair. These works were the reason the building was added to the Register, so it was removed in June this year.
Louise Brennan from Historic England said:
“It is central to Historic England’s mission that we pass on to future generations the rich legacy of historic buildings and places that we have inherited from previous generations. Our Heritage at Risk programme is a key contributor to this ambition. With the help of local communities and partners, imaginative thinking and business planning, we can bring historic places back to life in the West Midlands.”
“As the threat of climate change grows, the reuse and the sensitive upgrading of historic buildings and places becomes ever more important. Finding new uses for buildings and sites rescued from the Register avoids the high carbon emissions associated with demolishing structures and building new”.
Heritage Minister Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay said:
“Historic England’s Heritage at Risk Register plays a vital role in our ongoing mission to protect and preserve our rich heritage across the country. It helps to ensure that future generations can continue to benefit from everything our historic sites and buildings have to offer. It is also wonderful to see so many heritage sites removed from the Register thanks to the support of local communities together with Historic England.”
Eilish McGuinness, Chief Executive at The National Lottery Heritage Fund, said:
“It is so heartening to see The Charterhouse site removed from the Heritage at Risk Register, and given a new lease of life as part of their local communities and places. Conserving and saving heritage at risk for the next generation to enjoy, is core to our purpose, and we’re incredibly proud that the Heritage Fund has been able to support the work to make this fantastic news possible.”