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Griff Rhys Jones calls for action as historic country mansion put on endangered building list

Shadwell Court near Thetford in Norfolk has been put on a list of the most endangered historic buildings in Britain. Photo:

An empty gothic mansion in Norfolk has been included on a list of the top ten most endangered buildings in the country.

The Victorian Society says Shadwell Court near Thetford in Norfolk has been neglected.

The President of the Society is the actor and comedian Griff Rhys Jones who said: "One would expect it to be starring in TV series not crumbling away."

The owners of Shadwell Court say they have spent £1.66 million on maintenance in the past decade.

  • Watch an interview with the President of the Victorian Society, Griff Rhys Jones

The architecture charity, the Victorian Society, has released its annual top ten Most Endangered Buildings List, which highlights the most at-risk Victorian and Edwardian buildings and structures throughout England and Wales.

Now in its twelfth year, the campaign aims to expose the plight of these buildings in the hope that increased awareness and appreciation will help to save them.

The owners of Shadwell court say they have spend £1.66 million on its upkeep.

"It is both inspiring and saddening to see this list. Who would have thought that a call to arms would reveal such a wealth of distinguished and absorbing architecture?

"We are looking at real historical monuments - and yet we can only be taken aback.

"How can a beautiful, rambling exemplary Victorian mansion like Shadwell Court lie abandoned? One would expect it to be starring in TV series not crumbling away, and in Norfolk too."

– Griff Rhys Jones, President of the Victorian Society

Shadwell Court is a Grade-1 listed gothic country mansion initially built in 1715 as Shadwell Lodge.

It was extended and remodelled in 1840 by Edward Blore and again in 1857-60 by SS Teulon.

The Victorian Society says it has been empty since the mid 1990s and has extensive roof problems and has long been deteriorating.

Shadwell Estate was bought by Landlark Investments more than 30 years ago and the company which manages it say they have continually invested significant resources into the estate.

The Shadwell Estate Company says the estate is now a leading racing stud and pre-training yard for race horses, and a home for many retired racehorses.

Shadwell Court is a Grade-1 listed gothic country mansion initially built in 1715 as Shadwell Lodge.

"To do this we collectively employ circa 235 people in both the rural and equine industries across Norfolk, Suffolk and Berkshire. Shadwell Court, of which we took occupation in 1992, is a centrepiece to the estate and since then has been a focus of investment for Shadwell.

"Since 2008 alone we have spent over £1.66 million on conservation works to maintain the building and keep it in adequate repair including, among many other things; works to renew the roofs, refurbishment works and day to day maintenance."

– Shadwell Estate Company
The Shadwell Estate Company says the estate is now a leading racing stud and pre-training yard for race horses, and a home for many retired racehorses.

The Shadwell Estate Company told ITV News Anglia that current projects under detailed consideration include the refurbishment of an adjoining Cottage and conservation works to the courtyard buildings.