Iconic Preston building listed among most endangered

Mount Street Hospital in Preston
Mount Street Hospital in Preston
Have your say

An iconic building in the centre of Preston has been named on the list of Top Ten Endangered in England and Wales.

The former Mount Street Hospital and St Joseph’s Orphanage has been included in the 2016 list, by national architecture charity the Victorian Society.

Heritage experts are urging people living near buildings on the list to “seize the opportunity” and campaign to save them.

For the first time, there are no buildings in London and South East on the list, and the society believes the higher number of buildings nominated from elsewhere could reflect the “more difficult development situation” outside that area.

The Grade II Mount Street building was originally an orphanage, before becoming a convalescent home and hospital. It has been empty for over a decade, and is a favourite with “urban explorers”, with teenagers recently seen dangling their legs from a window at the top of the building.

It has been earmarked for redevelopment as 81 homes within the Preston Housing Zone, but Victorian Society bosses say the buildings “cannot afford further delay”, and say “sensitive plans urgently need to be put into action before the building is lost”.

Victorian Society director Christopher Costelloe said: “I hope inclusion in the top ten will spur local authorities and owners to urgently find a way to bring these buildings back into use. At a time when there has been much discussion of creating a northern power house this is more important than ever. Retaining historic buildings like those in the Top Ten is vital to maintaining local identity and creating places in which people want to invest, live and work.”