Historical monuments, buildings and sites in the Bicester area have fallen into a bad state and are in need of urgent repair.

Three places including a conservation area, a church and scheduled monuments, have been put on the Heritage at Risk Register by Historic England.

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These are: RAF Upper Heyford, defence and ancillary structures at RAF Bicester and Church of St Lawrence in Caversfield.

Historic sites can be costly to maintain and some fall into disrepair throughout the years.

RAF Upper Heyford is being redeveloped by Dorchester Living as part of its Heyford Park development with plans to convert the Cold War base. Early proposals include demolishing bomb stores and the hardened squadron HQ and there are now no plans to demolish a hangar.

The site will have 1,175 homes, a primary school, social facilities and filming site dubbed a 'creative city'.

Bicester Advertiser: Artist's impression of the new village centre at Heyford Park Artist's impression of the new village centre at Heyford Park

New housing estate Heyford Fields has just launched and a restaurant and hotel are set to open this year.

But despite developers saying they are ‘passionate’ about enhancing the historical value of the former US and RAF airbase, people have expressed their concerns that the character of the site may be lost.

Bicester Advertiser: RAF Upper Heyford. Pic by Richard SmithRAF Upper Heyford. Pic by Richard Smith

Bicester Local History Society member Matthew Hathaway, who lives in Heyford Park, said Dorchester has worked well to preserve the old buildings that will remain, ‘but the character of the site will be lost in a way that no amount of guided tours or museum displays will be able to replicate’.

Bicester Advertiser: Some hangars will be demolished at RAF Upper Heyford to build homesSome hangars will be demolished at RAF Upper Heyford to build homes

RAF Bicester, now home to Bicester Heritage owned by Bicester Motion, has bomb stores in the south of the grounds and defensive structures which are at risk from decay and vegetation.

The bomb stores' condition and possible use are under consideration.

There are 11 areas of Scheduled Ancient Monuments across the entire Bicester Motion site and numerous restoration projects have been carried out on the grounds over the years with its most recent project being the restoration of the Watch Office.

Bicester Advertiser: Watch tower restored at RAF BicesterWatch tower restored at RAF Bicester

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RAF Bicester as a whole was removed from the Heritage at Risk Register 18 months after it was taken over by Bicester Motion (then Bicester Heritage).

The other site in Bicester that is in need of saving is Church of St Lawrence in Caversfield.

It is a grade II Listed Building and parts of the church were built in the 10th, 12th and 13th Century.

In 1874, Henry Woodyer rebuilt the aisles, restored the chancel and added the north vestry.

The nave and aisle roofs are very steep and covered in thin, stone slates, but water ingress is occurring and repairs are needed.

An application to the National Lottery Heritage Fund Grants for Places of Worship scheme in 2017 was unsuccessful.

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