New Community Space For Crewe Green

A community project to transform a neglected and overgrown half acre site on the Duchy’s Cheshire Survey into an attractive and sustainable public space is taking shape, thanks in part to an award from the Duchy of Lancaster Benevolent Fund.

Located in front of St. Michael’s Church in the conservation hamlet of Crewe Green, the site abuts the Church wall and lych-gate but access has not been possible for several years and until recently the ground was covered with leaf mould, ground elder, brambles and unwanted debris. Now the entire area has been cleared, the original path restored and enhanced to permit disabled access and the historic oak tree in the centre of the space revealed to be enjoyed by future generations.

Working with the Parish Council and the Church Warden local resident Lynn Halliburton has rallied other local businesses and partner organisations to support the cause. “I really do believe that this space could become a restful and low maintenance garden for all members of the community. We want to encourage residents to take ownership of the garden and add to its development. There has already been talk of creating a sensory garden and we are organising a community bulb planting day later in the year.”

Duchy Head of Rural Christopher Sparrow has congratulated the Parish Council on the impressive progress made to date: “Community spaces are a vital part of village life and we are keen to support the Parish Council where we can on projects of this nature. The Benevolent Fund was set up to support community initiatives which enrich the lives of residents across the County Palatine and this project undoubtedly falls into that category. The approach to Crewe Green is a key thread through the Duchy estate and this new community space will definitely enhance its aspect and provide this historic Church with the setting it deserves.”

The hamlet of Crewe Green forms part of the Duchy of Lancaster’s Crewe estate which extends to 1,402 hectares to the east of the town centre. St Michaels Church and the adjoining vicarage were both built in 1857 for the 3rd Lord Crewe to a design by the renowned architect Sir George Gilbert Scott. The Grade II listed Church is recorded in the National Heritage List for England and the hamlet of Crewe Green contains 22 other Grade I and Grade II listed buildings, many of which remain in the ownership of the Duchy.