The new-build estate is centred around an old psychiatric hospital at St. Crispin’s which was in use from the 1870’s up to 1995. In the last few years, not only has it become disused, but the developer has not yet begun work on its conversion. The buildings have quickly gone downhill and have become a site for vandalism and dumping. When restored you can see how beautiful the buildings could be as a centre-piece to the community.
The hospital had a lovely chapel which is also showing signs of decay. At the moment a local orthodox congregation uses it on a Sunday. Apparently the inside of the chapel is beautifully decorated with images of saints. Behind the chapel is an overgrown graveyard with headstones as recent as the 1960s.
This area has been left vacant for some time as (again) the developer stalled in creating open space that the community can use. This week, fencing has gone up around the area as they begin creating a park with 4 football pitches and other facilities.
St. Crispin’s is also soon to get some much needed facilities. These former farm buildings are being renovated and added to to create a local centre. There will be a small Tesco, daycare nursery, coffee shop, community centre, Indian takeaway and a florist. I could probably survive without the florist but I welcome the other stuff!
Also near the centre of the development is this retirement village – I think it’s the largest in the country. It is almost completely self-suffieint where the elderly can live in their own apartments or bungalows with a warden and enjoy the village’s restaurant, shop, gym, sauna and other social activities.