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Gunns Mill

[ Buildings at Risk ]

Grade II*, S.A.M

Risk Category 1A

Conservation Area? No

Owner: Private. Contact Nerissa Krantz

Former blast furnace and later paper mill dating from 1682/3 (date on iron lintels). The blowing chamber and furnace are built from coursed squared rubble with ashlar dressings, the upper part partly from rubble stone and partly timber framing. Quoting from the list description, the building is 'Considered to be the best remaining furnace of the earliest phase of British blast-furnace practice.'

It's status as a Scheduled Ancient Monument as well as being Listed Grade II* means that SAM legislation takes precedence over Listed Building legislation. Scheduled Monument Consent from the Secretary of State is thus required before any work is carried out on the building even if Listed Building Consent and Planning Consent have been approved. The SMC procedure allows proper consideration to be given to any consequences of altering the monument.

A Listed Building Consent application for conversion to residential use was refused in 1986 as the proposed works were 'considered to be detrimental to the character and fabric of the Listed Building and prejudicial to the setting of an ancient monument.'

In terms of the future use for the building, alternatives to residential must be explored. This should take the form of a thorough feasibility study which goes into the possibility of museum or study centre use. In the meantime, however, the building needs structurally securing and English Heritage have committed to providing a structural survey and emergency repairs schedule.

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