A COLLECTION of iconic north Essex buildings are at risk of being lost forever as a result of neglect and decay, heritage experts have announced.

Historic England has revealed the latest list of buildings to be added to the organisation’s Heritage at Risk Register 2019.

The list provides an annual snapshot of the critical health of some of the country’s most valued historical places and shows those which are most at risk of being lost.

Amongst the well-known buildings across East Anglia which have been added to the list this year is a barn located to the south of Marks Tey Hall.

The Grade II listed building has been a part of the surrounding landscape since 1525.

Although the original purpose of the construction is not certain, Heritage England says it was definitely used as a granary for a significant period of time.

Its internal crown post roof remains in complete condition, but the general state of the building has been decaying for some time.

A dialogue between the heritage experts, landowner and Colchester Council has been official started in a bid to save the building.

Dominating Dovercourt beach’s coastline, the town’s iconic lighthouses were built in the 19th century.

They mark a milestone in the history of lighthouse design and in navigational aids developed for the deep water harbour.

However, the structures’ fabric is deteriorating and they’ve been added to the Risk Register in a bid to turn around their fortunes.

Harwich’s famous Electric Palace cinema is another iconic Tendring landmark which sadly is not what it used to be.

Designed in 1911 by 25-year-old architect Harold Hooper, the premises was created for travelling showman Charles Thurston.

It closed in 1956 but was reopened in 1981 by the Harwich Electric Palace Cinema Trust.

A National Lottery Heritage Fund grant-funded project to bring it back to life is underway.

Historic England said it has already provided additional funding and is working with the National Lottery Heritage Fund to ensure the safe removal of asbestos.

Just down the road, Harwich’s Treadwill Crane is also under threat.

The crane, which is believed to be the oldest surviving example of this type of structure in England, was built in 1667 by order of the Duke of York.

It was moved to its current location for display in 1932 which has led to problems with the concrete slabs it is situated upon.

Lastly, the final surviving timber trestle railway bridge in England is located in Wickham Bishops.

Wickham Bishops Timber Trestle Railway Viaduct was part of the Braintree to Maldon branch railway line built to carry freight inland from the port.

There were extensive repairs in the 1990s but many timbers are suffering from rot and decay caused by damp, lack of maintenance and heavy tree growth.

Some Colchester landmarks were already on the Risk Register and are still in this year’s list.

They include Colchester’s iconic Victorian water tower Jumbo.

However, the conservation group North Essex Heritage is hoping to turn around its fortunes and hosted the Jumbo Summer series of events this year.

The church of St Peter, in North Hill, the ruins of the Church of St Mary, Birch, and a Roman villa located to the south of Warren’s Farm in Great Tey are also still at risk.

But although many of the structures are suffering, it isn’t all doom and gloom however, and over the past 12 months, 39 historic buildings and sites have been officially saved in the region.

Thanks to the passionate work of communities, buildings such as Billingford Windmill in Norfolk and St John the Baptist Church in Needham Market, are now officially classed as saved on the Risk Register.

It is hoped with residents’ input the same success could be had in north Essex structures.

The first stage is recognising the seriousness of the buildings’ plight.

Tony Calladine, regional director for Historic England in the east, said: “The message is clear – our heritage needs to be saved and investing in heritage pays.

“It helps to transform the places where we live, work and visit, creating successful and distinctive places for us and for future generations to enjoy.

“But there’s more work to do. There are buildings still on the Heritage at Risk Register which are ideal for rescue and capable of being brought back into meaningful use and generating an income, contributing to the community and economy.

“These are the homes, shops, offices and cultural venues of the future.”