Devon's Oldway Mansion among 43 heritage sites at risk in South West

  • Watch: ITV News' Sam Blackledge had a tour around the historic mansion

A mansion in Devon is among more than 40 heritage sites in the South West now considered "at risk" by Historic England.

Oldway Mansion in Paignton is one of 43 historic sites which have been added to the annual Heritage at Risk Register.

Other sites include the remains of a 19th-century gig shed on St Agnes, Isles of Scilly and the headland surrounding Pendennis Castle, Falmouth.

The historic buildings and sites have been added to the Register because they are at risk of neglect, decay or inappropriate development.

The headland surrounding Pendennis Castle is in need of conservation. Credit: Historic England

However, in the past 12 months, 74 sites have been "saved" and have been taken off the Register.

These include St Cleer Holy Well and Cross, in Cornwall and Cross Ridge Dyke on Godborough Castle earthwork in North Devon.

St Cleer Holy Well and Cross, in Liskeard is the only example of a well house with an open porch-like design in Cornwall. Credit: Historic England

Historic England said it awarded £1.79 million in grants for repairs to 56 sites in the south west last year.

There are currently 1,348 entries for the south west on the Heritage at Risk Register — 31 fewer than in 2022.

The remaining walls of Porth Askin gig shed, on St Agnes are clearly visible. Credit: Cornwall Archaeological Unit

Rebecca Barrett, south west regional director at Historic England, said: "So the Heritage at Risk Register is a tool to help focus attention, resources and investment in the sites that need it the most.

"We know that people really care about their local heritage. It helps us feel a sense of pride in a place and connects us with places, stories and people both past and present."

She added: "Many of the successes this year are thanks to the determination, the imagination and the perseverance of local communities — often volunteers — who work tirelessly and rally around a particular project."

Major repairs are being planned for Oldway Mansion, in Paignton. Credit: Historic England

Oldway Mansion was built in 1873 for Isaac Singer, the millionaire founder of the sewing machine company.

Torbay Borough Council bought the building from the Singer family in 1945, and it remained in use as council offices until 2013 when it became vacant.

Now the building is in poor condition. The roofs and external walls are in urgent need of repair in some areas to stop water getting in and causing damp, dry rot and damage to historic plasterwork.

Historic England, formerly known as English Heritage, is a public body that helps maintain and preserve England's historic environment.

This year marks 25 years since the first Heritage at Risk Register.