An ancient monument in High Wycombe is “littered with cans”, a councillor has claimed - as she pleaded for the town’s “grotty spots” to be cleared up.

The ruins of St John the Baptist Hospital stand on Easton Street, but they can be missed when they are covered in ivy and litter.

Cllr Julia Wassell has long urged Buckinghamshire Council to clear up the historic site.

The Hospital of St John the Baptist is a “rare example of a medieval hospital surviving in a town and includes substantial architectural remains of a 12th century infirmary hall and chapel in addition to archaeological remains below the ground surface”, Historic England says.

But its significance is not being adequately recognised, Cllr Wassell has said.

“There are far too many grotty spots around Wycombe. There are only two ancient monuments in Buckinghamshire and one of them is in Easton Street.

“You walk past the ruins of the St John’s Hospital and it’s usually absolutely littered with cans and the signboard is faded.

“It needs to be somewhere we can take pride in and it’s no excuse that it’s now on private land – it is English Heritage listed and has ancient monument status.”

A lot of the ivy that was previously strangling the historic monument has recently been removed, but it is still often covered in litter and debris.

Cllr Wassell added: “You see people peering at it and wondering what it is. Cllr Lesley Clarke and I have tried very hard to get that area cleaned up but it needs a lot more. It is absolutely fascinating.”

Another “grot spot” that Cllr Wassell says needs addressing in High Wycombe is the Abbey Way underpass, which often becomes submerged under metres of water when it rains heavily.

She said: “I had an email before the election saying would it be a bad time to fill it in completely?

“We shouldn’t be taking into account the elections. Either it’s going to be a useful underpass or it’s a risk health and safety-wise.

“I don’t think you go round many town centres in Buckinghamshire and find underpasses that are part of a heritage trail which are swilling in filthy water and that’s what we have there.”

The discussion was part of the last High Wycombe town committee meeting, where council officer Shabnam Ali reassured councillors that the future of High Wycombe’s town centre will be part of their “refresh” of the previous regeneration strategy.

She said: “We will be absolutely looking at provision for the future of the High Street and the town centre in our refresh of the regeneration strategy, which will be an opportunity to highlight what’s not working right now and the ‘grot spots’ and what we can do about it. It will pick up on a lot of those points and we can develop an action plan.”