Monday, August 09, 2010

The walls of Jericho

"Is there now no crime in Jericho?" asks my most assiduous commenter Dreaming Spire.

I am told that when the first Morse book was written it was a rather seedy area. Now it is what estate agents call a highly sought-after residential area and has house prices to match. That does not mean there is no crime there, of course.

Jericho is made up of a tight little grid of Victorian terraces. It is beside the Oxford Canal and dominated by the tall campanile of St Barnabas. (Campanile fans will also enjoy the stables at Gumley Hall.)

In December of last year, in a House Points column, I wrote about the campaign to save Castlemill Boatyard in Jericho. Then I said that things looked hopeful for the campaign.

Since then, I am was sorry to hear, permission for redevelopment has been given (I am told that the developers won an appeal against the council refusal to grant it) and work did start. Then the development company went bust, with the result that the boatyard has gone but the site is derelict and boarded off from the public.

The centre of Swindon was in a similar state, and for the same reason, when I visited it last summer. Does anyone know if progress has been made there?

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