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HomeNewsIconic hotel which inspired Dickens and hosted the Beatles could be lost...

Iconic hotel which inspired Dickens and hosted the Beatles could be lost forever

A hotel steeped in history and having played host to some of Britain’s best creative minds is at risk of being lost to time.

The Great White Horse Hotel in Ipswich, Suffolk is known to have inspired Charles Dickens’ first novel the Pickwick Papers, hosted the Beatles and even had royalty stay within its walls.

It was also featured in the popular TV comedy series Last Of The Summer Wine.

But Historic England have now added it to its Heritage at Risk Register under threat from decay, neglect or inappropriate development.

The hotel has hosted notable historical figures over the years including Admiral Lord Nelson and King George II.

Historic England report there is active dry rot in the second-floor space named the Dickens room.

The building is also suffering from deteriorating windows, and gutters and drainpipes which are in poor condition.

Historic England has added 159 buildings to its list in total.

Another historic building, St Mary’s Church in Stoke-By-Nayland in Suffolk, which was frequently painted by landscape artist John Constable, has also been named among the sites at risk.

A fundraising campaign by the local church council hopes to save it, with repairs set for December with help from a £135,000 repair grant from Historic England.

Holbeche House in the West Midlands, which was once owned by one of the plotters associated with the Gunpowder Plot, also joins the at-risk list.

The conspirators sought refuge there after failing to blow up Parliament.

Ringleader Robert Catesby was killed in a gunfight three days later while the others were either killed or arrested.

It marks 25 years since the publication of the first Heritage at Risk Register.

The register provides an annual snapshot of the health of England’s valued historic buildings and places.

Historic England said there are 48 fewer total entries on the list compared with 2022, and around 6,800 entries have been removed since the list began in 1998.

There are also 203 sites that were rescued, including 19th-century designed Capernwray Hall Park and Garden in Lancashire; the Napoleonic era arms depot in Weedon, Northamptonshire; and the Church of the Ascension in Greater Manchester which was repaired following a fire in 2017.



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