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Wolverhampton church among most at-risk buildings in the UK

02 October 2020

Ian Tatlock

Darlington Street Methodist Church, which is eighth on the list of the most endangered buildings

Darlington Street Methodist Church, which is eighth on the list of the most endangered buildings

A METHODIST church in Wolverhampton is among the top ten most at-risk buildings in the UK, the Victorian Society has announced.

Darlington Street Methodist Church, a Baroque-style Grade II* listed building with a copper dome and twin west towers, was on the society’s 2020 list of most-endangered buildings (News, 20 September 2019).

The church was built in the early 1900s, but worship ended there in 2019, leaving the building vacant. The large basement and adjacent halls and schoolrooms are used for other functions.

The society’s president, Griff Rhys Jones, said that security was a “serious concern” because of its poor condition after a fire in the halls in 2014. It has leaking roofs, failing rainwater goods, signs of dry rot, and structural cracking.

The interior has vaulted ceilings with ornamented plasterwork and original gallery seating; the organ was built by Nicholson & Co. Mr Rhys Jones said: “To have such a wonderful building in such a state in the centre of Wolverhampton sends out a terrible message. Too often this leads to accusations of buildings’ becoming an eyesore.

“Surely a community can be found for this stunning building that has long served the people of Wolverhampton? The council should take enforcement action to prevent further deterioration.”

Top on the most-endangered list is the Samaritan Hospital for Women in London (1889-90), which became the Samaritan Free Hospital for Women when it became part of the NHS in 1948, before closing in 1997.

This is followed by the Brighton Hippodrome; a former Anglo-Bavarian brewery in Shepton Mallet, Somerset; a former pub, the Captain Cook, in Teesside; Northgate Malt House Building in Newark-on-Trent; Bracebridge Pumping Station in Worksop, Nottinghamshire; ex-Prudential Assurance Company offices in Oldham; and a former police station on Bavaria Place, Bradford. In tenth placeis Plas Alltran, a listed building in Holyhead, Wales.

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