Memorial garden plans finally approved

Kenilworth's former animal pound in High Street has been cleared out.

Kenilworth's former animal pound in High Street has been cleared out.

Kenilworth’s former pound will finally have a new lease of life after approval was given for volunteers to press on with memorial garden plans.

Kenilworth Civic Society has now been granted a lease for the land after months of negotiations and funding requests.

The town society hopes to transform the former animal holding into a community and memorial garden dedicated to its 300 year history.

It would include fencing off the small space and creating a paved garden museum complete with seating, a commemorative stone for those who died at war, and history boards depicting the site’s past.

It would also highlight the outline of the former air raid wardens posts inside.

And as Warwick District Council has completely cleared the site -along with a grant of up to £3,000 agreed by Kenilworth Town Council - they are well on the way to bringing the plans to life.

Patricia Cain, chair of the Civic Society, said it was all about making the most of the town’s rich history and that they are “over the moon” to see things progressing.

“It is all good news from here, but we still have a lot of things to iron out before we can get in and make things happen,” she said.

“It is a lovely site and it will look lovely once work is complete.

“We just live in hope that things continue as well as they have done so far as things are progressing very well.”

The community-led group will now complete legal agreements and await a decision on if planning permission will be required for the work.

The town council and neighbours of the site have all been informed of the new lease arrangement.

Currently owned by Warwick District Council, the land belonged to the town for over 300 years. It was used as an animal pound and later as a base for air raid posts.

Its history dates back to 1642 when it was used to house stray animals until their owners collected them.

Later, during the Second World War, an ARP Warden shelter, known as BlockPost No 3, was built on the site.

Wardens from both shelters played cricket together in what was the founding of the Wardens Cricket Club.

Up until this year it was leased to the late Cllr Jack Bastock, former town mayor who maintained the site next door to his High Street home.

And following his death, town historians, community groups and residents came together to stop the land being sold on or used for development in hope of retaining its rich history and saving the space as a community asset.

Warwick District Council did not make any formal comment on the new lease agreement with the Civic Society at this stage.




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