A house coming back to life

You may remember the abandoned house in Gordon Road (is it No. 98?).  It’s been empty, deserted, and overgrown for as long as we can remember.  But some weeks ago we were told that it was being renovated – we don’t often pass that way so we hadn’t seen it for ourselves.  We took a photo not long afterwards; but we forgot to post it!  So, apologies for being late, but here, at last, is what we saw.  No doubt all those who live near the house will be relieved to see it being brought back to life.

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If you know the story behind the apparently-unloved house, and why it’s now being restored, do let us know.

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16 thoughts on “A house coming back to life

  1. I was delighted to see this. I think I first spotted it looking unloved in 1988 or so, at which time there was still glass in the windows. It’s impressive that the walls are still clearly sound, and what’s also striking is that the builders are working quickly (there was a new roof on it within what seemed just a couple of days) – if they keep going at their present rate there will be people living there before you know it!

    • The puzzle is why someone would own the house and just leave it unused for thirty years. (But maybe it will have proved to be a sound financial strategy – I wonder how much the value has increased in real terms. Enough to pay for a new roof and more, perhaps. Though it’s also a puzzle that a new roof was needed. The tiles shouldn’t have deteriorated all that much?)

  2. I lived in one of the big town houses next to it for 20 odd years. We used to call it the haunted house mainly it was used by teenagers as a place to get drunk and scare each other. The rumor was it was owned by an accountant who lived in fleet who refused to sell it to Charles church who built the the town houses next to it as they were trying to aquire the land. I’m glad it’s being turned around it was such a waste of land/house etc.

    • Many thanks for that story. But surely teenagers never get drunk….?? (And my understanding is that Charles Church had options on lots of parcels of land in the area. So quite possibly he had aspirations for the site.)

      • Next thing to do is renovate the BT building opposite! No doubt it will be converted into flats in 15 years time.

        We also had an underground stream go under our town house that led to the basement constantly flooding when we 1st moved in!

        I now live in Dorchester Court on the A3 and can’t remember what used to be on the site before the flats. Can anyone tell me I would love to know the sites history?

      • I’m not sure that your ‘forecast’ about the BT building is right. Unless we all switch to 5G phone networks for our communications, we’re going to have to rely on copper and fibre going through that building for the foreseeable future.
        I’ll pass your question about the history of Dorchester Court onto Ken Clarke, the local historian. Ken does follow this blog, but I’m not sure that he sees everyone’s comments.

  3. For only me.
    On the corner of The Avenue and London Road was the old Central Hall, a place where I used to walk to from France Hill School, when the school became slightly crowded. Around the corner in the London Road was the Wesleyan Church, next to this was Overs Store, built in 1896, but in 1907 it was gutted after a fire. It was rebuilt the following year. Further up Osnaburgh Parade was Overs removals, and then various shops and pubs. The Globe, which then moved to opposite the old York Town School, and after a number of name changes ended up as The Dolphin, which will be replaced by flats, now there’s a surprise. If there is anything else you want to know contact me.
    Hope this is of interest to you.

  4. After walking past for the last few weeks and watching the house coming back to life (new windows are in now), I spotted that there’s a fairly substantial extension going up at the back (the joists have just been delivered), so I decided to search for the planning application. The only application I can see for the house was refused in 1989! http://isharemaps.surreyheath.gov.uk/ishare54/custom/planning/?requesttype=parseTemplate&template=DevelopmentControlApplication.tmplt&Filter=^SYSTEMKEY^=%274460%27&backurl=custom/planning?

      • Not to worry. I’ve just had a look, and found what is probably the same thing. What appears to be an ‘obsolete’ planning application. If there are grounds to complain, I imagine that the neighbours will do so. But they’re probably grateful to see the house restored to respectability….

  5. An update for you. There is now a postor attached to the barrier outside the building, describing it as an “Executive Detached House”, and the estate agent blurb online says “Quoin Homes are in the process of undergoing an extensive refurbishment and renovation project of this magnificent home.” I love the positive slant, but I suppose that it’s probably better than “Quoin Homes are in the process of rebuilding this ruin which has been empty for over a quarter of a century”.

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