Shocking figures from Cadw have confirmed that 14-14.5% of nationally important Scheduled Monuments in Wales are “at risk” - please sign a Senedd petition to make conservation management plans for each of them compulsory.
Scheduled Monuments are supposed to be protected to preserve archaeology and buildings so that future generations can learn from our past.
Scheduling identifies monuments which are of national importance to Wales - having importance not just locally, but for the wider cultural heritage of Wales. They are rare examples, and many have international significance which attract visitors from all over the world.
There are currently 4,229 designated Scheduled Monuments in Wales. Current estimates from Cadw, the Welsh Historic Environment Service, indicate that around 14%-14.5% of these are at risk.
Many monuments are stable, others need managing to slow or avoid the effects of natural deterioration. Cadw’s website suggests owners of Scheduled Monuments may find it useful to draw up a Conservation Management Plan to guide their decisions, but it’s not a requirement.
Scheduled Monument Ruperra Castle, in South East Wales, is an example of the poor management of our historic environment. It is architecturally unique and historically significant as the only pageant Castle in Wales, built for show and not defence. In December 1941 it was gutted by fire and is still a ruin at risk having deteriorated in the intervening years. One of the towers has fallen and without considered intervention it will deteriorate further and soon be lost…
Cadw’s designation description includes: “Ruperra Castle is a rare example of a substantial Jacobean Renaissance mock castle... The monument is of national importance for its potential to enhance our knowledge of post-medieval social, domestic, and political life and architectural design. Notably, the sophistication of Jacobean design at Ruperra was unprecedented at the time in Wales".
Ruperra Castle is also a Grade 2* Listed Building. There are currently 30,093 designated Listed Buildings in Wales. Current estimates from Cadw indicate that between 8%-8.5% of these are “at risk”.
The Ruperra Castle Preservation Trust is petitioning the Senedd/Welsh Parliament to make Conservation Management Plans compulsory for Scheduled Monuments at risk, to avoid neglect and subsequent loss.
Sign and share the petition before it closes on 18 July 2023 - 10,000 signatures are needed to be considered for a debate in the Senedd.
In January 2023 Caerphilly County Borough Council approved proposals for conversion of outbuildings next to Ruperra Castle into a residential community with no plans for Ruperra Castle, a building of huge historical importance and at risk. Country Life Magazine deemed this missed opportunity a national scandal in an article in February 2023
Find out more about Scheduled Monuments on Cadw's website