Saturday, 25 July 2009

Queens Lodge, Queen's Avenue, Colwyn Bay

Following the closure of the John Braddock/Mary Bamber convalescent homes on Queens Avenue, I'd like to ask if anyone knows what the future holds for this magnificent mansion (originally called Queen's Lodge) and 13 acres of gardens?

In terms of size, this property is second only to Pwllycrochan (now Lyndon Preparatory School) in Colwyn Bay and would make an ideal prestigious headquarters office building or maybe a luxury conference hotel. One thing's for certain, we need a usage that creates employment and brings wealth into the town, not another set of luxury homes and apartments.

I found this via Google:
"Terry used to be Head Gardener at Bodelwyddan Castle until he moved to the Medicash Garden in Colwyn Bay, which won several awards under his care. A further move became necessary because the house and garden were for sale."

All photos (c) Scott ...cbay/e107_plugins/content/content.php?content.23.1

Plan of Queen's Lodge & Grounds, dating from 1911:

(With the exception of the building of the Mary Bamber Building in 1968 in the top-right of the grounds, Queen's Lodge is practically unchanged in nearly 100 years)

Queen's Lodge was built in 1895 by Mr. W. Houghton, a wealthy Warrington wire manufacturer. The building was sold in 1919 to Frederick Henry Smith, a cotton and india rubber manufacturer who had recently joined the aristocracy by becoming the 1st Baron Colwyn. It was at Queen's Lodge, during the 1920s, that the first informal talks between some of the town's leaders came about to promote Incorporation of Colwyn Bay as a Borough.

In 1946 it was acquired through public auction by the then Merseyside Hospitals Council, to help cope with the demand for convalescence after the end of the Second World War.

The original building became known as the John Braddock Convalescent Home in 1954. It was joined in 1968 by the purpose-built Mary Bamber Convalescent Centre in the same grounds.

Both centres were used by Medicash (formerly the Penny in the Pound Fund) to provide rest and relaxation to people recovering from illness, primarily from the Merseyside area. The company blamed the closure on £1m annual operating costs and less than 1% of the membership making use of the homes.

Set amongst 13 acres of landscaped grounds the sites feature timbered parkland, a wild orchard, sensory garden, vegetable garden, and an authentic Victorian walled garden.

The site also boasts spacious lawns and an ornamental lake with fountain, bowling and putting greens, and impressive views of the North Wales coast.

With thanks to Scott at ...cbay/e107_plugins/content/content.php?content.23.1 for some of the information and photos of Queens Lodge. Scott, if you read this, please get in touch!


Anonymous said...

Sadly it looks like it's going to be flattened for a housing estate, although it should be protected.

Sandra said...

Do you know for definite that this is what's going to happen? I can't seem to find any information on it,


Anonymous said...

Yes , it seems the low life developers who have bought it, are preparing another planning application to flatten everything for flats and houses, very sad.

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