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St Mary Magdalen Church risks losing its heritage status

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St Mary Magdalen church in Bermondsey Street – one of the oldest buildings in the area – has recently been added to Historic England’s heritage “at risk” register.

 

Historic England has assessed the state of the grade 2 listed building as “poor”, noting that a plan to improve its condition has not yet been agreed.

The Church has a long history, and is noteworthy for its 17th century medieval tower with gothic window and arches. It has been remodelled and expanded several times over the past few centuries.

 

Here is a link to a locator map, published in Strype’s 1755 annotated edition of Stow’s ‘Survey of England’.

Historic England noted that the building was of weak structure, not aided by remodelling efforts in the 1830’s and 1880’s.

They stated:

“The roofs have been heavily repaired and strapped historically but are still under stress. This may be related to falls of plaster from ceilings.”

In 2013, the church was rededicated by the Bishop of Woolwich and some building works were undertaken to restore and modernise parts of the building.

 

However, these restorations have not prevented the church being put on the register. Several historic tombs in the council-maintained churchyard have been on the ‘at risk’ list for a number of years.

Rector Charlie Moore says that the Church being on the list is in fact “no cause for alarm” and that it is the normal procedure for buildings of this type. If anything, this will mean more money is directed into a refurbishment to address the issues cited by Historic England.

There is plentiful evidence that being put on the register can be a positive thing. For instance, St Andrews Chapel in Boxley, Kent was bought by the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings following its placement on the register.

  

Meta title: St Mary Magdalen Church is put on Historic England’s “at-risk” register.

Meta description: St Mary Magdalen Church risks losing its grade 2 heritage status after being put on Historic England’s “at-risk” register; however staff are hopeful this means restoration works will be funded.

 

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