Demolition imminent….

We had the privilege today of spending some time with Cathy, and the lovely people at St Lawrence’s Social Club, where we received a very warm welcome indeed. This was a fantastic opportunity to meet some of the staff who have worked at the hospital over the years, and we would like to say thank you to all involved.

Sadly, this did mean we saw the latest step in the demolition of the Foster complex of buildings, including Foster Hall. It would appear nothing more can be done to protect or save this beautiful, and historically important, building. [Although the Cornish Buildings Group have an update on this, please see comments on this post].

We feel the photographs speak for themselves. However, if anyone more photographically skilled than we are manages to go and capture the forlorn feeling coming from behind those new barriers, or wishes to record the demolition of this historic site, please contact us.

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Photos: © Examining Mental Illness in Cornwall 2013. All rights reserved.

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3 thoughts on “Demolition imminent….

  1. Has the Historic Environment department at Cornwall Council done a proper building recording survey prior to this? I am assuming so. If so they may have done the best they can. We can only use this opportunity to make sure our mental health heritage survives in other ways and this blog is doing a great job. Sticks and stones may break our buildings but they’ll never stop us writing.

  2. Thank you for your comment Tehmina. Our understanding is that far more could have been done. English Heritage would not recommend the building for listing based on it not being ‘unique’ for a hospital of that era – for ‘England’. But of course it is unique for Cornwall.

    Certainly there has been controversy about the lack of public consultation regarding the demolition and redevelopment of the site. Some of this story is here: http://www.thisiscornwall.co.uk/consultation-demolition-plans/story-18532363-detail/story.html#axzz2XxihOCw7

    Cornish Buildings Group, who have campaigned for years to save at least Foster Hall, requested the Council undertake an environmental impact survey, which has not happened – more information here: https://sites.google.com/site/cornishbuildingsgroup/news/somenews

    Whilst listed status was not recommended, the Council did have other options – as demonstrated here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-gloucestershire-22714643

    Of course you are right: we must preserve whatever we can, and that includes people’s memories of St Lawrence’s. The imminent demolition of the Foster buildings makes recording this history even more important.

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