In Victorian days parts of North Swindon were the domain of the gentry at Blunsdon Abbey house before a fire destroyed the building and all its contents in 1904.
The building was deemed too expensive to bring it back into use but over a century later, Adam Griffin, the current owner and managing director of residential homes business Pine View Parks Ltd, has commenced the restoration of the remaining parts of the North Swindon landmark.
“We started work just before Christmas, and we’re aiming for completion in late spring,” said Adam. “The Abbey’s got oodles of history, and brings something different to the park. Its restoration is a key part of the investment we’re making to improve the infrastructure for the residents, and provide an attractive place for retired people to downsize to.”
Once complete the abbey house will provide new headquarters for Pine View Parks, plus a spacious community room for use by park residents. Adam said, “We’re so taken with this building and the location that we have decided to move the whole of our administrative function from Staines in Middlesex. As well as using local tradespeople in the restoration work, we’ll also be recruiting accounts, sales, secretarial and book-keeping staff from the summer onwards.”
The grounds have been a residential park since 1954, when a Mr Maurice Goodearl purchased the site. Mr Goodearl has just celebrated his ninetieth birthday and still lives on the Park. Adam said, “he likes what’s happening to the old house and the site, and still gives us advice.”
As for the popularity of the site in an area of intense development competition, Adam is confident that a residential park lifestyle is here to stay. He said, “it appeals to the over-50s looking for easy living in single storey accommodation and offers a means for retired people to live economically, keeping money in the bank from the sale of their larger houses.”
For further information on Pine View Parks residential homes, call 01793 722100 or go to: www.pineview.co.uk