Croylands Needs to Remain a Part of Ely's History

PUBLISHED: 09:44 07 October 2008 | UPDATED: 10:35 04 May 2010

REGARDING your recent article on Croylands in Ely I would like to add the following observations. The building itself is an elegant part of Ely s history with early 1800s roof timbers, rare staircase, cornices, skirtings, hidden fireplaces and large, beau

REGARDING your recent article on Croylands in Ely I would like to add the following observations. The building itself is an elegant part of Ely's history with early 1800s roof timbers, rare staircase, cornices, skirtings, hidden fireplaces and large, beautifully proportioned rooms. Croylands, in Cambridge Road, was originally built to accommodate the vicar of St Mary's Church. It passed into the ownership of a prominent local merchant. After serving as an orphanage and a home for the blind, for more than 20 years it has acted as a day care facility for those with mental health issues, both chronic and acute.

Its grounds, with protected trees, sensory garden and organic vegetable plot, once stretched down to the plot on the corner of Cambridge Road and West End Road, used for growing vegetables for the Lamb Hotel.

Archaeologists have investigated ancient worked stones, uncovered here by a dig conducted by clients. These, still in the gardens, include beautifully carved pieces believed to come from the old Hospital of St John, just across the fields behind Croylands.

The gardens are now wholly and immaculately maintained by the clients under the guidance of a volunteer.

The graceful and beautiful home provided peaceful, appropriate and spacious rooms in which clients felt safe and supported. All formed a strong attachment to Croylands and will be very sad to have to move.

Those who knew Croylands in the days when the rooms provided calm settings for therapeutic activities and healing group work are hoping this gracious and lovely part of Ely's history will be protected from demolition and the grounds preserved, to continue to be a tranquil and beautiful part of Ely's story.

JILL STEVENSON

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