New history all set for old Kenilworth pound

Local residents are campaigning to save the former animal pound in High Street, Kenilworth. Pictured at the site are Graham Gould, Cyril Hobbins, Alan Holmes and Robin Leach.'MHLC-22-10-13 Pound Oct69 ENGNNL00120131022155713
Local residents are campaigning to save the former animal pound in High Street, Kenilworth. Pictured at the site are Graham Gould, Cyril Hobbins, Alan Holmes and Robin Leach.'MHLC-22-10-13 Pound Oct69 ENGNNL00120131022155713

A memorial garden paying tribute to Kenilworth’s past could open in High Street within weeks as work is set to start on the former pound.

The historic animal pound will be transformed into a public garden, complete with benches, plants and history boards documenting the area and its past in the town.

We want everything to be in place ready for the nice weather so people can really enjoy the pound

Patricia Cain

After a year-long fight by historians and residents, and months of waiting for contractors to take up the job, work is due to start any day now to begin the transformation in time for the summer.

Patricia Cain, chair of the Kenilworth Civic Society which helped make the project a reality, said it is wonderful news to finally see the project coming together thanks to public donations and community grants.

“Fingers crossed that work will start over the next week, we are all ready to go,” she said.

“We want everything to be in place ready for the nice weather so people can really enjoy the pound.

“There are a lot of people who have really helped, we cannot thank them enough.”

It is expected to take up to four weeks for the job to be completed, after which time the pound will open to the public.

The memorial garden will be managed by volunteer group, Friends of the Pound and the group was given £2,500 from the Kenilworth Community Forum towards costs, as well as a £1,000 donation by town historians.

Residents including Robin Leach have helped put together history boards documenting the change in the space.

The site at 39 High Street dates back hundreds of years and was once used as a compound for stray animals. But it has been unused and closed off for some time. Up until last year it was leased by former town mayor Jack Bastock who maintained the site - adding a gate and removing the former air raid shelter inside the walls. Following his death, a lease was agreed by landowners, Warwick District Council to allow for the space to become a public space.