COVENTRY’S medieval Holy Trinity Church has been registered as being ‘at risk’ despite its national importance.
Watchdog Historic England has published this year’s Heritage at Risk Register, the annual snapshot of the health of some of the country’s most treasured places.
It identifies heritage sites which need help and very often financial support to prevent them falling into disuse or disrepair.
The Holy Trinity Church in Priory Row, part of Coventry’s medieval quarter, has been identified as needing essential maintenance to ensure its long-term future.
Historic England, which oversees regulation of the UK’s conservation areas and listed buildings, described the landmark, saying: “The origins of this Grade I listed place of worship go back hundreds of years, though the building itself has been reconstructed and adapted over time.
“One of its famous parishioners was the author Mary Ann Evans, better known as George Eliot, who wrote the novel Middlemarch, among other works.
“The church survived the Blitz mostly intact thanks to its vicar who, along with a few others, slept in the church during a raid in November 1941 dousing any fires that took hold.
“Today, the church needs urgent roof repairs to keep it weathertight.”
The church’s historians say the first known reference to the landmark was in 1113.
They say the church has always been a vital part of the medieval quarter, appearing to have originally been established to act as a ‘side chapel’ to the Priory church.
The building that stands today is a 14th century reconstruction of the original.
Historic England is celebrating 20 years of the Heritage at Risk Register.
Almost two thirds of the sites listed in the first register in 1998 have been salvaged and the remaining third have seen important maintenance, the watchdog says.
Heritage at Risk principal for Historic England in the West Midlands, Eilis Scott, said: “This year is a big anniversary for the Heritage at Risk Register where we can celebrate and reflect on the 133 buildings (West Midlands) and monuments that have been saved over the last 20 years.
“Past experience shows us that solutions for our heritage at risk are realised through people working together, with the passion and perseverance to make things happen.”
She praised dogged determination by communities, charities, owners and partners in the West Midlands which have worked to preserve important sites.
A total of 31 sites in the West Midlands have been newly listed as under threat.