Historic Bradwell Abbey near Milton Keynes saved for future generations

Famous 12th century landmark removed from Heritage at Risk Register

By Olga Norford
Thursday, 4th November 2021, 6:00 am

Historic Bradwell Abbey has been saved from decline after being removed from the Heritage at Risk Register.

It's one of more than 20 sites in the South East which have been removed from the At Risk Register over the past year. Many have been saved thanks to the hard work and dedication of local communities, who have come together to rescue places despite the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Charities, owners, local councils and Historic England have also worked together to see historic places restored, re-used and brought back to life.

Historic Bradwell Abbey has been saved from declne

Bradwell Abbey, located in Alston Drive, Milton Keynes, is the site and remains of a medieval Benedictine Priory and is a Scheduled Ancient Monument . Nationally it is significant because it contains the greater part of the medieval precinct of a priory, a rare standing building and dedicated pilgrimage chapel with a scheme of stunning contemporary wall paintings. The priory was dedicated to St Mary and founded circa 1154 by Meinfelin, Baron of Wolverton..

From 2018, Historic England has provided funding for extensive repairs, completed this summer, to make the building stable and watertight, and to protect the important paintings. The owner, Milton Keynes Council working with MK City Discovery Centre, is providing additional funding to improve and safeguard the remainder of the Bradwell Abbey site for future generations.

The Historic England at Risk Register is the yearly health-check of England’s most valued historic places and those most at risk of being lost forever as a result of neglect, decay or inappropriate development.

From 2020-21, Historic England awarded £1.23 million in grant funding to 23 South East sites on the Register (including conservation areas). In addition, £250,000 of Covid-19 pandemic recovery funding was awarded to the Former Sheerness Dockyard Church, Isle of Sheppey, Kent.

A total of 15 sites in the South East have been added to the register because of concerns about their condition. They are at risk of being lost forever as a result of neglect, decay or inappropriate development.

Heritage Minister Nigel Huddleston said: "I'm delighted that so many famous landmarks have been removed from the Heritage at Risk Register in 2021. We've supported the sector throughout the pandemic with our unprecedented Culture Recovery Fund and it is great news to see this investment, along with other financial support, having such a positive impact.

"Heritage helps us understand our past and bringing old buildings and sites back into public use helps us to level up communities, create growth and protect these important assets for future generations."

Over the past year, Historic England has offered £14.5m in grants to help a huge range of the country’s precious historic sites. This includes £4.8m in additional emergency funding to help sites deal with problems exacerbated by the Covid-19 situation.