HISTORIC sites in the North Tyne plagued with decades of neglect and decay have been saved by Historic England.

Ridsdale Ironworks and Horneystead Bastle, near Wark, have been removed from the ‘at risk’ register and have benefited from a share of £1.5million in grants for historic sites in the North-East and Yorkshire.

With sections of the Ridsdale engine house in danger of collapsing, the remains were marked as High Risk on the Heritage at Risk Register in 2009.

The 19th century site underwent repairs and consolidation works as part of the Revitalising Redesdale Landscape Partnership, funded by The National Heritage Lottery Fund. The project also improved visitor access and an information panel will be erected at the entrance to inform people of the building’s significance.

Karen Collins, of Northumberland National Park, said the funding was a lifesaver. “It was on the point of collapse and scaffolding had to be erected to keep it in place,” she said.

“It is thanks to the funding and local work that we have been able to save it.”

Severe damage caused by the Beast From the Eat put the 16th century Horneystead Bastle, already in poor condition, at risk of collapse.

Bastles were built to protect people and their valuable livestock against the raids of the border Reivers who plagued the area during the Middle Ages.

Together with the Northumberland National Park, Historic England worked with the owners to repair the unique structure, which is held together with clay.

Historic England praised the determination of local communities, charities, owners and local councils who helped ensure the sites were restored and brought back to life.