Campaigners celebrate after Darwin home gatehouse is saved

October 9, 2009 1:41 PM
Belinda Brookes-Gordon at Grove Lodge Gatehouse

Cllr. Belinda Brooks-Gordon (left) joins Paula and Brian Corby to celebrate at Grove Lodge Gatehouse.

Campaigners, who fought to save the gatehouse to the former home of Charles Darwin's wife, are celebrating after it was given a reprieve.

They launched their campaign after Grove Lodge Gatehouse, in Huntingdon Road was threatened with demolition.

Grove Lodge had been the home of Emma Darwin and residents were anxious that the gatehouse should be preserved.

Huntingdon Road resident, Mrs Paula Corby said: "This building is a large part of the Darwin family and it should be retained for that reason and the fact that it is a reminder of the way people lived on Huntingdon Road."

Castle ward councillors Belinda Brooks-Gordon and Simon Kightley joined residents in their battle, organising meetings in a bid to save the building.

They also raised the issue in leaflets and posters and even enlisted the help of Private Eye to get out their message.

"I am absolutely delighted that Grove Lodge has been saved," said Cllr Brooks-Gordon. "It would have been a tragedy if this building, which is such an integral and important part of the Darwin estate, had been lost forever.

"I am hopeful, now, that the college will refurbish the building and perhaps find a community use for it."

Cllr Simon Kightley said: "This is excellent news; common sense has prevailed Grove Lodge is an important part of Cambridge's Victorian history and, as such, should be preserved.

"This decision is a result of the sheer hard work of residents, who fought to save this building, and they should be congratulated."

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