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Survivor faces extinction

The last remnant of a famous 19th century estate

The Lodge before hoardings were erected, hiding it from view

The Society is challenging Sutton Council to reject the option of demolishing a pretty and historic Victorian lodge.

The Lodge, on London Road, Hackbridge, was once part of the Culvers Estate, owned by Victorian notables such as Samuel Gurney and John Peter Gassiot Jnr. The latter's family firm was the largest supplier of port to the UK and the family were major donors to London hospitals like St. Thomas's, as well as donating a large number of paintings to the Guildhall Art Gallery. John Peter Gassiot Jnr. is buried in Sutton Cemetery.

The small lodge is all that remains of the whole estate. It is now owned by Sutton Council; boarded up for two years, it seems that they are considering demolition.

'It's just not good enough to demolish an attractive building, one of the area's last links to its past,' says James Hughes, Conservation Adviser for the Victorian Society. 'The Lodge is not grand but it is certainly memorable. If the existing hoardings were removed, everyone would see what a notably pretty landmark it is. Even the Victorian stained glass is intact.'

James adds, 'There has been talk of Hackbridge being the UK's first sustainable suburb. Given the massive amount of embodied energy within existing buildings, refurbishment rather than demolition of the lodge would be a much more sustainable option.'

'Demolition would mean a sad loss to the area, given the importance of the Culvers Estate to local history. The council should protect an asset like this on behalf of its citizens and for the future.'

Thursday 6 December, 2012

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