This view of the Old Gaol from Bridge Street has seen no change since it was first revealed by demolishing part of the Old Police Station back in April.
What is apparant is that Twickenham House is surrounded by scaffolding and is having the roof done. There will be pedestrian access to the Old Gaol from Twickenham House – which forms part of the complex.
A hydraulic breaker continue to pound the ground where the swimming pool once was, trying to find the rubber brick!!!
Nothing new to say about the Old Gaol in this monthly blog update, but there are pictures of two holes. The first part of the Old Gaol development will involve building some of the superstructure for the underground carpark.
What probably interests people more than underground carparks, are the planned public facilities. I don’t know how up to date the Cranbourne Homes website is, but interestingly it does say…
“Coming Soon: Old Gaol, Abingdon, Oxfordshire
New Homes, Restaurants, Shops and Community Facilities Centered around the Conversion of the Historical Old Gaol, Associated Buildings and Twickenham House on the Banks of the River Thames in Abingdon On Thames. First Phase Expected Release Autumn 2011.”
I thought they had given up the idea of shops and restaurants and planned just restaurants, but that was before Ask came to town, so maybe shops are back in the plan.
Back in July when I did the Old Gaol progress update from the grandstand view of the County Hall roof, Colin Wiggins sent me this picture of the same view from back in 1968 – before the swimming pool was built. It shows out buildings and a car port as part of the Old Gaol complex.
Having lost that grandstand view I shall have to rely more on other reports and snooping about. The Old Gaol has hit the headlines on two occasions in the last month. First because the developers cut down a tree of heaven after the demolition works had damaged it, and second because ownership has transferred to Cranbourne Homes and building work has commenced.
The VWHDC press release said “Initially, the work will concentrate on site infrastructure and constructing a new 60 space underground car park, before moving on to building the new flats and restaurants.
Following completion of the demolition and archaeological work … ownership of the Old Gaol site has been passed from the Vale of White Horse District Council to developers Cranbourne Homes.
So far, Cranbourne has paid the Vale just over £2million for the site. As part of the deal, the council will receive further payments during the course of the development from the sale of residential units. The final value of the scheme to the council will not be known until all units have been sold…”
There was another story didn’t make any headlines I saw. One archaelogical firm had the job and did the dig. The more local Abingdon group thought there was still more to be found in the way of Roman remains and wanted more digging done.
Looking down from the museum roof, not a huge amount of building activity has happened in July. Archaeological excavations have progressed and more of the earth has the look of being dug over or terraced.
It also looks like a lot of material has been bagged and boxed up for going through with a teaspoon at a later date.