Chris Partrick, East Cambridgeshire District Council’s Conservation Officer, gives us the low down on the how the Local Heritage List project has been going in East Cambridgeshire.
The Cambridgeshire LHL project has been live for 9 months and is now showing concrete results for East Cambridgeshire: over 450 candidates have been identified to add to the existing local list, and the bulk of the survey work, covering the entire district for the first time, is now complete. It’s still a mammoth task to compile statements of significance and assess those candidates for inclusion, but for the first time the end is in sight.
Whilst photographing and cataloguing nice buildings is a pleasure for any conservationist, the real interest has been in researching the history which lies behind the buildings. Who would guess for example that an unassuming Victorian villa (The Grange, Littleport) was a prisoner of war camp and hostel for Belgian refugees in WW1 and an RAF hospital in WW2, and a trade union convalescent home in between ?
Or that a racing enthusiast, Colonel Harry McCalmont, could burn through half of a £4 million inheritance in 10 years building a mansion and a dozen lodges in Cheveley Park, as many cottages in Cheveley and Woodditton, and a railway station and grand stands in Newmarket? Or that the Methodist circuit around Ely could commission so many remarkable chapels in the two decades between 1890 and 1910?
The connections and stories behind our heritage are fascinating and there is still a huge amount to discover: now is an ideal time to get involved !