Earlier this month Historic England has revealed the latest list of buildings to be added to the organisation’s Heritage at Risk Register.

It included two iconic Essex buildings which are at risk of being lost forever as a result of neglect and decay.

The list provides an annual snapshot of the critical health of some of the country’s most valued historical places and shows those which are most at risk of being lost.

Here we have a look at the sites in Essex on the list.

The Tudor Blockhouse

What is it? Built as a military defence by Henry VIII in 1543.

Why is it at risk? The building is suffering from rapid coastal erosion with the south-east side substantially destroyed over the past 20 years.

Thorrington Tide Mill

What is it? It is the last remaining mill in Essex and one of the three remaining in the East of England. The site was purchased by Thomas Alfred Glover in the Second World War.

Why is it at risk? The mill is currently closed to the public as it needs urgent repairs due to a water leak and loose masonry.

Read more >> Key historic buildings across Essex could be lost for future generations

Church of St Peter, Colchester

What is it? A 15th century church, re-modelled C17 and with C19 alterations. Stone rubble with brick west tower of 1758, the upper two stages of which have rusticated quoins.

Why is it at risk? Nave and chancel roofs in need of very urgent repair. The congregation launched a major regeneration project in 2019 to address repairs and greater use

Spring Valley Mill, Ardleigh

What is it? A circa 18th century watermill with white weatherboarding over painted brick base.

Why is it at risk? Roofs leaking and building splitting apart. Front wall bulging and some of the weatherboarding is missing.

Jumbo, Colchester

What is it? Monumental water tower decommissioned in the 1980s.

Why is it at risk? A feasibility study has been undertaken by the Colchester and North East Essex Building Preservation Trust, and they have developed a project with the aim of securing repair and future publically beneficial use.

Electric Palace Cinema, Harwich

What is it? A rare survival from the early days of purpose-built cinema retaining many of its original features.

Why is it at risk? A National Lottery Heritage Fund and Historic England grant aided project is underway but has been delayed by Covid-19.

Redoubt Fort, Harwich

What is it? Designed as bomb-proof fortification with effective artillery power to withstand lengthy siege.

Why is it at risk? Suffering effects of water ingress - significant loss of pointing to inner and outer moat walls, or cement pointing resulting in loss of brick facings.

Church of St Michael, Kirby le Soken

What is it? A substantial late medieval church of flint and stone rubble, much restored in the 19th century

Why is it at risk? The building suffers from subsidence at the east end of the chancel, resulting in substantial cracks in the walls and at the junction of the chancel roof and the east gable.

Church of All Saints, Brightlingsea

What is it? Church in Church Road, Brightlingsea, thought to have been built in the 13th century.

Why is it at risk? Flint rubble walls with loose high level masonry. Tower parapet at risk of loss.

Wickham Bishops Timber Trestle Railway Viaduct

What is it? The final surviving timber trestle railway bridge in England

Why is it at risk? There were extensive repairs in the 1990s but many timbers are suffering from rot and decay caused by damp, lack of maintenance and heavy tree growth.

Harwich’s Treadwill Crane

What is it? The crane, which is believed to be the oldest surviving example of this type of structure in England, was built in 1667 by order of the Duke of York.

Why is it at risk? It was moved to its current location for display in 1932 which has led to problems with the concrete slabs it is situated upon.

Plume Library building, Maldon

What is it? A historic library and church tower. The site contains more than 7,000 volumes, mostly from the 16th and 17th century

Why is it at risk? It is at risk of its ceiling collapsing and possible structural movement and cracking.

Dovercourt Lighthouses

What is it?  The town’s iconic lighthouses were built in the 19th century. They mark a milestone in the history of lighthouse design and in navigational aids developed for the deep water harbour.

Why is it at risk?  The structures’ fabric is deteriorating and they’ve been added to the Risk Register in a bid to turn around their fortunes.

Martello Tower "K", Walton

What is it?  One of 29 Martello towers originally built along the east coast 1808-12, against the threat of French invasion. 

Why is it at risk?  Some internal alteration and problems arising from water ingress.

Martello Tower "E", Clacton

What is it? One of 29 Martello towers originally built along the east coast 1808-12, against the threat of French invasion. The forward battery was destroyed in1819. 

Why is it at risk?   Suffers from water ingress and loss of render.

Martello Tower “D”, Clacton

What is it? One of 29 Martello towers originally built along the east coast 1808-12, against the threat of French invasion. Owned by Tendring Council. The forward battery was lost in the1980s during construction of new sea defences.

Why is it at risk?   No internal access currently possible but the monument suffers from water ingress and loss of render. 

Barn south of Marks Tey Hall

What is it? A timber-framed barn of three bays with brick nogging infill and a clay tiled roof.  The original purpose of the building is uncertain but the first floor was fitted out and used as a granary at an early date.

Why is it at risk?  The building is now in a poor state of repair. Rotten timbers, missing tiles, concrete rendering and lack of rainwater goods contribute to its condition.  

Ruins of Church of St Mary, Bures

What is it? Small Norman church dated to C12. No longer used for worship. Now a roofless ruin with some structural problems.

Why is it at risk?   The unconsolidated flint rubble walling is at risk.

Parish Church of St Mary Magdalene, Wethersfield

What is it? Mainly C12 to early C15 altered in C18, restored in C19. Flint and pebble rubble with dressings of limestone and clunch, roofed with red clay tiles, felt and lead. 

Why is it at risk?   The nave is covered with felt roofing which is beyond its design life and showing extensive signs of leakage. There is a complete late C15 camber beam roof immediately below with extensive evidence of water ingress. North aisle roof is also leaking onto medieval wall fabric and monuments.

Codham Mill and Mill House, Wethersfield

What is it? A timber-framed water mill with an integral dwelling thought to date to the mid-late C18. The mill building is little altered and retains its water wheel.

Why is it at risk?   Continuing concern over condition of mill. 

Church of St Mary the Virgin, Stebbing

What is it? An unusually well preserved C14 church, with some later work including the three-bay stone rood screen, built in imitation of the C14 original by Woodyer in 1884. 

Why is it at risk?  Settlement in many areas of the nave and aisle flooring, due to continuing leaks of a post WWII under floor heating system. In some areas this is becoming a health and safety issue.  

Windmill, Thaxted

What is it? Red brick tower windmill built in 1804 for John Webb.

Why is it at risk?   Extensive damp internally from eroded brickwork, open joints, causing widespread mould on internal walls, deflection in one of the main floor beams with decaying ends housed in the brickwork. 

Tilty Mill, Uttlesford

What is it? Watermill, early C18. Milling machinery intact. 

Why is it at risk? Evidence of major structural failure which is endangering interior features.  

Stone Hall, Little Canningfield

What is it? Stone Hall dates back to the C14 originally used as a religious retreat together with gardens and woods extending to 25 acres. The Countess of Warwick developed the garden and pleasure ground in the late C19.

Why is it at risk?   Overall structural movement affecting the whole property is a matter for concern. Roofs are leaking locally and rainwater goods are in a poor state. 

Church of St Michael, Roxwell

What is it? St Michael's Roxwell is a medieval church of probable C14 date but much restored in C19. 

Why is it at risk?   The roof tiling has loosened and tiles are slipping. Evidence of continuing internal leakage. 

Creeksea Place, Creeksea

What is it? Former Elizabethan courtyard house completed1569, South range demolished 1740; east range rebuilt in C19. Fine original garden walls and gateways.

Why is it at risk?    The house suffered from major structural problems and was extensively propped. Historic England Repair Grant for Heritage at Risk awarded 2019. Final phase of urgent repairs and conservation work completed to C16 range, now complete.

Manor House, Shoebury

What is it? House, 1681. Currently vacant, last used as residential quarters. Re-use of the building is complicated by its location within a military site. 

Why is it at risk?   A serious dry rot problem was treated 1998 to 2003 but has caused considerable damage to the interior.

Chantry Chapel and Mausoleum, Thorndon Park

What is it? Mid C19 private Roman Catholic chapel and mausoleum of the Petre family with a polychrome Gothic Revival interior. Designed by William Wardell and located south west of Thorndon Hall.

Why is it at risk? Historic England Repair Grants for Heritage at Risk grants were offered towards three phases of external repairs to the masonry and roofs, but an extensive programme of window repair and internal conservation is still needed.   

Church of St Paul, Brentwood

What is it? Parish church 1878, by EC Lee. Flint walls with stone dressings. 

Why is it at risk?   Leaking iron gutters on stone stringcourses starting to cause failure in stone. Evidence of active leakage. 

State Cinema, Grays

What is it? The State Cinema is one of the best preserved of the 'super cinemas' of the late 1930s.constructed in 1938 by FGM Chancellor for Frederick's Electric Theatres. 

Why is it at risk?   The building has suffered from heritage crime and the roof, rainwater goods and interior are in poor condition. The conversion work is expected to be completed by the end of 2021.

Littlebury Farmhouse, Romford Road

What is it? Timber-framed house of c1540 and earlier. 

Why is it at risk?   A lean-to roof is not watertight and is in poor condition. The timber frame is protected by ply sheeting.