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Illustrated Talk by Neil Crutchley
For almost a century Stoneygate was the area in which most of the cityís wealthiest business and professional families chose to live. They built vast houses in expansive grounds, which were run by an army of indoor and outdoor servants and lived lives of great style and opulence.
Many fine houses are still standing. They have been converted into care homes, schools, university premises and flats. However a surprisingly large number of these grand homes have been demolished. They went in the 1950s and 60s when it was claimed that no one wanted these vast properties, as the days of staffing them with servants and gardeners had gone. However, it has been a fascinating process looking into their history. On London Road alone we have lost at least thirty large houses, most of which have been replaced by blocks of flats. Where one house once stood there are now twenty, thirty Ė even sixty small flats. In one or two exceptional cases, a whole road now stands on land once occupied by a single dwelling!
Had these mini-mansions survived into the 21st century, the chances are that they would have been preserved and converted rather than destroyed. Itís just possible that they might have become family homes once again.
Looking at what we have lost, more than justifies the existence of the Stoneygate Conservation Area Society, to ensure the suburbís rich architectural heritage and unique character are preserved for future generations.
Neil Crutchley is a committee member of SCAS and LEMA. He has been researching into the lost houses of Stoneygate for the past two years and has amassed a wealth of detail about both these properties and their owners. His talk, illustrated with period photographs, plans and maps should interest anyone with a love of local history.