Perhaps the “musings” of Rob Little is a misnomer – perhaps it should be the “rantings” ! But born and bred in Kingswear with remaining close family connections with the village, it pains me to see some of the planning feux pas that have taken place since I left in the 1970s. Only when you spend most of your time away from a place, are you shocked to the core when you see what either South Hams District Council has allowed….or what owners have been allowed to get away with.
A case in point is, what I described recently as “the abortion that was once Kittery Court” – a historic, grade II listed riverside house with generations of history. Kittery Court gave its name to the town of Kittery in the American state of Maine after the Shapleigh and Champernowne families left the Devon manor to found a settlement there in 1623.
It seems that the current owner of Kittery Court, which featured in the 1981 film “The French Lieutenant’s Woman”, has not heard of the term “to gild the lily“? This gorgeous building has effectively been “vandalised” with the addition of a modern square structure on the front, skylights in the roof, relocation of chimney pots, the destruction of the two story bay window overlooking the lawn and replacement with some other nonsensical structure and, to cap it all, we have this ludicrous castle-like so-called folly in the garden. Its as if those responsible set out to see how ridiculous they could make this historic house look.
Oh I do wish I was back in Kingswear where I could stir things up with these interlopers who think they can do what they like to our village. I would be a constant thorn in their side.
Lets Tour England
Kittery Court in 1856
Kittery Court – not sure of the date but showing the two story bay window on the lawn site of the building
Kittery Court c2004
ooohps – Kittery Court has a fire midway through the work necessitating more unplanned changes
Kittery Court showing the bay window off and replaced with some other “thing”
Kittery Court turns into a Castle – brand spanking new made to look old – sadly the whole thing is now a joke