Historic Buildings 'Crumbling Away' SEVEN CITY SITES REMAIN ON ENGLISH HERITAGE 'CRITICAL LIST'

Article excerpt

Byline: MARTIN SMITH and SAMANTHA CLARKE

SEVEN historic buildings in Coventry still remain under threat of ruin or decay, according to a report out today.

Each city building highlighted in English Heritage's 2002 Register of Buildings at Risk has been listed for the past two years.

Coventry has one of the longest lists of buildings most in need of repair.

Grade I listed buildings such as the historic Old Grammar School, in Hales Street, remain on the register.

The conservation watchdog's report says the medieval precinct wall to Charterhouse, in London Road, is in a "very bad" condition, while Caludon Castle in Farren Road, the medieval basement in Bayley Lane and the basement of the Old Star Inn are at risk of crumbling. The non-conformist chapel to the London Road cemetery is described as in a "poor" condition.

Irene Shannon, of the Coventry Society, said she was appalled by the findings of the report.

"In Coventry there seems to be more of a tradition to knock things down than restore them.

"Why can't we put more money into restoring the Old Grammar School? The local authority should be taking it over and looking after it. It's a valuable building just going to rack and ruin. It's a shame because it's steeped in history.''

Eileen Castle, secretary of the Coventry Historical Association, said the Old Grammar School was "a fine medieval building which is just going to waste".

But city council conservation officer George Demidowicz said a team of specialist consultants had been drafted in to assess the condition of Caludon Castle, the basement of the Old Star Inn and the medieval basement in Bayley Lane. …