Historic Hartlepool chapel listed in UK’s top ten most-endangered Victorian buildings

The Wesley.
The Wesley.

A CHARITY has called on developers to take action on a prominent historic building named as one of the top 10 most endangered buildings in the country.

The Victorian Society says the owners of the Wesley Chapel in Hartlepool town centre must stop allowing the elegant former Methodist church to deteriorate and fulfil its promise to convert it into a hotel.

The derelict chapel, which was turned into a nightclub and leisure gym in the late 1990s, is one of the society’s 2014 Top 10 Most Endangered Victorian and Edwardian Buildings in England and Wales after being nominated by the public.

But the Wesley’s owner Jomast Developments says work is progressing a t will lapse.

“Jomast should fulfil its stated intention of investing in this prominent listed Hartlepool landmark rather than leaving it to decay further.”

Other buildings in Hartlepool nominated by the public were the former Market Hotel, in Lynn Street, and the derelict Shades Hotel in Church Street.

A spokesman for Jomast said: “The [Victorian Society] article is misrepresentative as a high level of facilitation work has already been carried out internally at The Wesley Chapel.

“All planning conditions have been resolved and the scheme is being progressed.

“The company, therefore, is keen to bring this landmark building back into use.”

The Victorian Society is asking for the public to help save the top 10 buildings by lobbying councils and raising awareness.

Director Chris Costelloe said: “Once again the number of nominations from the public has demonstrated that it cares about preserving Victorian and Edwardian buildings.

“Those we selected for the top 10 are those in the most urgent need of help now, but they also illustrate the problems faced by many more buildings around the country.

“As the economy recovers, it is vital that owners and local authorities redouble their efforts to find new uses for these buildings. Victorian and Edwardian architecture makes a huge contribution to the character of places people live in and love.”

The Victorian Society’s Top Ten Most Endangered Victorian and Edwardian Buildings 2014:

•Hammerhead crane, Cowes, Isle of Wight, 1912, Grade II listed

•Collier Street Baths, Greengate, Salford, 1855

•Former Wesley Methodist Church, Wesley Square, Hartlepool, 1871-73

•Coal Exchange, Mount Stuart Square, Cardiff, 1883

•All Souls church, Hastings, East Sussex, 1890

•Tonedale Mills, Wellington, Somerset, 1800 and 1920

•Abney Park Cemetery Chapel, Stoke Newington, Hackney, London, 1840

•Navigation Colliery, Crumlin, Wales, 1907-1911

•Trentham Hall, near Stoke-on-Trent, 1840

•Crimean War Monument, Sheffield, 1858