Historic structures in Norton have been the recent focus of a group put together to assess the condition of the area’s remarkable Grade II listed buildings.
Norton’s listed buildings include telephone boxes and churchyard memorials as well as domestic dwellings ranging from the medieval period through to the present day.
The aim of the project was to carry out partnership working between ten local volunteers, local organisations and national bodies to test a new Historic England Condition Survey – a web-based system for recording the condition of Grade II Listed Buildings.
Councillor Norma Wilburn, Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Arts, Leisure and Culture, said: “Norton is a wonderful part of our Borough and features many beautiful and timeless buildings, many stemming from its early days as a commuter centre for the adjacent town and port of Stockton-on-Tees.
“So far 72 of the 82 Grade II listed structures in Norton have been surveyed and I am delighted to see such a good number of volunteers engaging this project with a real enthusiasm and commitment.”
Kate Wilson, Heritage at Risk Principal Adviser for Historic England in the North East, said: “Through joining forces with the local planning authority, these volunteers are making real steps towards better understanding our cherished historic places.
“This enthusiasm for local heritage is exactly what this project needs to be driven forward so that we can build a national picture of the state of Grade II buildings and what’s putting them at risk.”
Robin Daniels, from Tees Archaeology, said: “I would like to thank everyone involved for their hard work and I am pleased to say the volunteers have indicated their willingness to continue the exercise across Stockton Borough.
“The project has been a success in acting as a testing mechanism for the new Historic England recording system and we are very proud to be a part of that.”
Ron Huckle, volunteer, said: “It has been great to get a fascinating insight into the history of Norton through its listed buildings. Our work will go a long way to help the future maintenance of these special structures and maintain the character of the village.”
The exercise found that, on the whole, the Grade II listed buildings in Norton were in good condition although a number of structures will need monitoring for further deterioration.
The volunteers underwent a background session using Historic England training material before using their new skills in practical training sessions carried out on local buildings.
The project began in January 2015 and was recently completed in June, providing all parties involved with a thorough understanding of the condition of the listed buildings in Norton.
A Historic Buildings Officer from Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council will ensure that the owners of the buildings requiring attention are contacted in writing before developing a timescale for any necessary repairs.
The Norton Grade II Listed Building Condition Survey was funded by Historic England and managed by Tees Archaeology in partnership with Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council.
Any individuals interested in participating in future projects should contact Fiona Bage, Conservation Officer for Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council, on 01642 526271.
For more information on the history of Stockton Borough, visit www.heritage.stockton.gov.uk