The UK’s first and only World War I battlefield, Heugh Battery in Hartlepool, has been awarded almost £40,000 to carry out specialist repair assessments.

Now run as an independent military museum by Heugh Gun Battery Trust, the North East museum holds a collection of military artefacts and artillery pieces from throughout history.

The site, part of the Hartlepool Headland Conservation Area, is on Historic England’s Heritage at Risk Register, and is said to need significant repair work.

In 1914, the Heugh Battery guns on the site are thought to have cut short a bombardment by three German battlecruisers which had already killed over 100 civilians and injured a further 400.

Historic England, which is providing the £38,530 grant, said the site is now suffering from concrete decay, metalwork corrosion, poor ventilation and flooding, which has resulted in some parts of the museum being closed to the public.

Art Fund – Going Places – Oct 2023
An aerial shot of Heugh Battery Museum, Hartlepool (Heugh Battery Museum)

The capital will fund specialist surveys of the battery to assess the extent of the damage and pay for the development of a repair and maintenance plan, part of a longer-term plan to secure the future of the site.

Tom Gledhill, Heritage at Risk Projects Officer at Historic England, said the site is “one of the most important historic military sites in England.

“We are really pleased to be working with the Heugh Gun Battery Trust to restore this cherished local attraction.”

Diane Stephens, Manager of the Heugh Battery Museum, added: “We are grateful to Historic England for their support in helping us to access professional advice to get vital information together about what is needed to repair and restore the fabric of this important historic military site, which is such a beloved part of our community.

“We hope that we can go on to secure the funds needed for the repairs and cannot thank Historic England enough for their support and advice throughout this process.”

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