Selected buildings “add colour and story to any urban landscape”

The Victorian Society has revealed its 10 most endangered buildings in England and Wales. 

This year’s list includes a former lawn tennis pavilion in Scarborough, North Yorkshire, designed by the architect John Hall, a banqueting hall in Newcastle designed by the Newcastle central station architect, John Dobson and a former school in lambeth, south London. 

The other buildings include the Kursaal in Southend-on-Sea by George Sherrin, St Luke’s chapel in Nottingham City Hospital, St Agnes’ vicarage and hall in Liverpool and the former education department offices in Derby.  Further buildings in this year’s endangered building’s list were the Chances Glassworks in Sandwell, a coastal gothic house in Devon and the Cardiff coal exchange. 

The grade II*-listed Cardiff coal exchange was designed and built between 1883 and 1886 but later closed in 1958. By 2002, the building was refurbished into a music venue, holding gigs for acts such as the Arctic Monkeys and the Manic Street Preachers. The building later closed in 2013. Three years later, it was announced that the building would be redeveloped into a hotel. The building functioned as a hotel from 2017, but in February 2023 the hotel closed due to a burst water pipe. The hotel reopened in March this year. Cardiff Council believe that the building has a structural instability, however no conservation report has been produced to confirm this. 

> Also read: Victorian Society names 10 most endangered structures

Built in 1885, the grade II-listed former Bramcote Tennis Pavilion in Scarborough was formerly the home of champion-level matches and featured changing rooms for both men and women. The Kursaal, which was built between 1898 and 1899 was believed to be the world’s first purpose-built amusement park, which featured a circus, ballroom, arcade, dining hall, zoo ice rink and billiard room. The building was later home to a casino and bowling alley and hosted a number of band performances, including AC/DC.

The Jesmond Dene banqueting hall in Newcastle features a gatehouse, reception hall and display room which was designed by Norman Shaw. Griff Rhys Jones, Victorian Society president, said: “We are not normally indifferent to the architect Norman Shaw. We celebrate him in books, academia and TV programmes. Why are some of his finest works here being ignored?”

Built in 1902, St Lukes chapel in Nottingham City Hospital is dedicated to the apostle St Luke, who was a physician. Up until the mid-1980’s the chapel was used by patients, staff and visitors for private use, but it later closed in 1988. 

Griff Rhys Jones, the Victorian Society president said: ”As always, this sad (but fascinating) list of buildings is a testament to the excitement, variety and invention of the Victorian Age.”

Jones also said that the buildings ”add colour and story to any urban landscape. Their restoration and reuse make huge commercial sense. They are attractions in themselves.”

He added: ”There is so much to cherish. Here is imagination and delight in a church like St Luke’s. Foresight and genuine social awareness in a sturdy educational building and schools. Wonder in a Newcastle Banqueting Hall.”

Last year’s list of buildings at-risk included London’s Liverpool Street station, a Turkish baths in Carlisle, a church in Warwkickshire, a pub in North Tyneside and an Italianate country house in Devon.