We worked with Historic England in testing the development of an online recording tool and accompanying training package, aimed at collecting and maintaining nationally consistent Grade II listed building data across the country and providing volunteers with the guidance and skills required to undertake condition surveys.
Following on from our Stour Valley Buildings at Risk Pilot Survey, the Essex part of the project aimed to rigorously test the usability and impact of this emerging framework through the use of local volunteers supported by heritage professionals, in order to ensure that the tools which are being developed nationally were fit for purpose locally. In order to give as wide a range of historic buildings scenarios as possible to test against, two areas were chosen with widely differing characteristics, both in the form of the Grade II Listed structures present and the types of threats and opportunities that they faced. These are Harlow District (175 buildings) and the rural parish of Clavering (85 buildings) in north-west Essex. Harlow District is overwhelmingly urban in nature, however the listed buildings comprise a mix of medieval/post-medieval buildings relating to small rural hamlets that have been subsumed into the modern urban area and the 1950/60s buildings and other structures relating to the construction of Harlow New Town. In contrast Clavering parish is a rural area comprising a small village, a number of outlying hamlets and isolated farms, with a largely medieval/early post-medieval building stock.
The results of the project also fed into the development of the Historic England and Essex Buildings at Risk Registers and the Essex Historic Environment Record, as well as providing groups and individuals with new skills, empowering them to engage with their local heritage.
View the report Buildings at Risk: Testing the National Framework.