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Historic Derbyshire Houses at Risk

After a recent tour of Derby we highlighted the plight of St. Helen's House and the uncertainty of its future. The house owned by Derby City Council has been neglected for many years and the council are now looking to sell the property for development. Sceptical of the council's motivation The St. Helen's House Trust has formed to attempt to retain this historic building for the people of Derby. Their website for information is http://www.st-helenshouse-trust-derby.co.uk.

Today we visited Alfreton and in particular Alfreton Hall . What remains of the hall is a wing built in the 19th century. Again it is in council ownership and empty. It's future is very much in doubt. In fact I couldn't find out anything about what the future does or doesn't hold for Alfreton Hall . What sort of a journalist am I? One thing for sure there are no protest groups, no dissensions and no proposals. Let us hope that the good folk of Alfreton do not wake up one morning to find it demolished. If anyone has any information please contact us.

This brings us to the plight of Elvaston Castle and Gardens. The recent history and performance of Derbyshire County Council, its owner, is quite frankly scandalous. Please take time to study the following website for an insight into what is going on http://www.friendsofelvaston.co.uk.
We will be visiting Elvaston Castle and Gardens in the very near future. We will report back on our findings.
It should be remembered that councils in the past have demolished country houses with no conscience including Osmaston Hall (in 1938), Chaddesden (in the 1930s), Markeaton Hall (in 1964) and Darley Hall, Darley Abbey (in the 1960s). Whilst the demolition days are perhaps behind us, the development days are here. They sell off the crown jewels for a fast buck-their excuse being they cannot afford the annual maintenance bill. Successive councils are to blame but through associations such as those mentioned above the people are fighting back. After all these buildings belong to us.

If you feel strongly about these issues please register your support on the relevant websites.

Chris Sabian, Peak District View - 2006-12-23 00:00:00





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