SEVERAL churches, a sprawling mill and the old Horwich Loco Works all feature in the 2021 register of at-risk buildings published by a watchdog.

Historic England has published a rolling record of the condition of listed buildings across the country, and rates them according to their rate of decay, and whether a solution has been found to tackle the deterioration.

Two of the churches deemed in most peril by the conservation group are St James, in Roscow Avenue, Breightmet, and St James in Daisy Hill.

An assessment by Historic England says of the Breightmet church that it is “at risk because of extensive nail fatigue, resulting in a rapidly failing slate roof.

“There is also significant structural movement at the head of the tower staircase.”

The inspection noted that a minor repair grant had been forthcoming from the Taylor Review in 2019 to assist with repairs to “the roof, stonework and rainwater goods”.

And when considering St James, Daisy Hill, the conservationists reported: “Vegetation has become established in the joints of the dual-pitched capping to the turret.

“This vegetation is now causing displacement of slates with the attendant danger of falling material. The area around the base of the turret is now cordoned off.”

Much of the remaining places of worship are considered to be the victims of ‘slow decay’, and their rating is then graded by whether a plan of action has been agreed for the edifice in question, or not.

These include the grade II* listed Ukranian Catholic Church, which dates back to 1869, and Bolton Methodist Mission, St Matthew’s Little Lever, Holy Trinity Prestolee, St Chad’s Tonge Fold, St Catherine’s Horwich and St Paul’s Ramsbottom.

The grade II* listed and part-occupied Swan Lane Mill No. 3, completed in 1914, is in a ‘poor’ state.

Two other designations - conservation areas for Horwich Loco Works and Birley Street in Bolton, were said to be in ‘very bad’ and ‘poor’ conditions respectively.