Report lists historic sites ‘at risk’ from destruction in Daventry district

The Dower House at Fawsley
The Dower House at Fawsley

Two new sites within the Daventry district have been added to the list of historic structures ‘at risk’.

Historic England released its annual At Risk report on Tuesday, with two new additions for the Daventry district – the Dower House at Fawsley and All Saints’ Church in Clipston.

They join other sites listed locally, including: the Roman settlement of Bannaventa near Norton, parish churches in Watford and Braunston, parts of Weedon Depot, and a gate at Winwick Manor, on the register.

The Dower House at Fawsley is a former hunting lodge with watchtower dates from the early 16th century and was extended to form a small Dower House. The house was identified by Pevsner as the earliest brick-built structure in Northamptonshire.

Despite its importance to the county’s history, the building now stands as a ruin. Some of the stonework has collapsed and experts have concerns about other parts of the structure too.

Historic England says: “The Fawsley Estate has been working with Historic England and Natural England to prepare a comprehensive scheme of historic landscape restoration.

“Some stabilisation of the ruins is being undertaken.”

At Clipston a leaky roof and internal damp caused All Saints’ Church to be included on the list.

The church was built in the early 13th century and is a Grade I listed place of worship.

The problem facing the building is the roof over the south aisle – every time it rains ‘serious amounts’ of water enter the building and run down the walls, causing further damage to the structure and other parts of the historic interior.

The church has already launched a campaign to encourage local people to donate money to help repair the building. Most recently residents of the village were invited along to see various objects, records and parts of the church not normally open to the public including the silver, the bell tower, and the registers of births, marriages and deaths.

A long-standing feature on the At Risk Register are parts of the Weedon Depot site. Included are the canal enclosure walls, parts of the outer walls and bastions, and the West Lodge. Historic England notes that the depot site was sold to new owners in 2013 and discussions are taking place about what can be done.

However, it is not all doom and gloom – one structure removed from the list is the Well House at Fawsley. The Grade II* listed structure was built in the early 16th century to supply Fawsley Hall from a well which never runs dry, but had become dilapidated, overgrown and in danger of falling down. But a grant from Natural England has allowed it to be stabilised and removed from the At Risk register.