Work has started on the partial demolition of County Buildings in Crawley - but record of site's history is preserved

Work has started on the partial demolition of County Buildings in Crawley – but not before a record of the site’s history and a set of lights were preserved for future generations to see.

Tuesday, 30th March 2021, 10:20 am
Updated Tuesday, 30th March 2021, 10:22 am
Illuminating the past, with the set of lights from County Buildings: from left, Marie Ovenden, West Sussex County Council Crawley Growth Programme Delivery Manager, Toby Ramsden, Faithful & Gould Managing Building Surveyor, Holly Parsons, Curator Crawley Museum, and James Patterson, DDS Ltd Site Manager.

The record of the building’s past, plus current photographs, have been shared with Crawley Museum. The heritage pack is available for residents to view at: https://www.westsussex.gov.uk/media/15435/historic_building_record.pdfLast month, the County Council asked its Project Management company to commission Archaeology South-East to carry out an Historic Building Record of the former children’s library, attached to the main library, at Northgate Avenue, Crawley.

A set of lights, hanging in the stairwell adjacent to the old library’s main entrance, was identified as being of interest and indicative of the time County Buildings was constructed in 1963. Crawley Museum was approached to see if it would like the lights as a donation from the County Council: the offer was accepted as “an interesting acquisition for the museum”.

Marie Ovenden, County Council Growth and One Public Estate Programme Delivery Manager, said: “We are delighted to pass this symbolic item to the museum. As a Crawley-born resident, I am conscious of the attachment to the old library and adjacent buildings.

“The heritage pack will serve as a long-lasting record of the site. The demolition is the first part of a wider redevelopment and this is a key site to support the regeneration of Crawley town centre.”

Museum Curator Holly Parsons said: “We are very excited to accept the lights from the old library building. We have very little in the collection to represent Crawley’s recent history, and hope they bring back many happy memories for our visitors.”

A dedicated web page, giving details of the partial demolition of County Buildings, together with a link to frequently asked questions, is available at: https://www.westsussex.gov.uk/about-the-council/how-the-council-works/partnership-work/county-buildings/

The demolition project is a key part of the One Public Estate initiative.

DDS Demolition Ltd is carrying out the work. Both the magistrates’ court and Centenary House will remain in situ.