Joe's Crow Country
PUBLISHED: 17:37 14 March 2011
I HAVE always admired the architecture and heritage of Royston's buildings, and hope that the exciting new developments for the town preserve this.
With Angel Pavement being re-paved, Fish Hill Square and The Cross undergoing face lifts and several large housing schemes planned for the town, there is no denying Royston is going through a period of transition.
Fish Hill, with the old courthouse and cobbled alleys, and The Cross, with the Royse Stone and the Ermine and Icknield Ways, hold particular importance at the heart of the town.
Within the next year, these sites will be transformed in order to attract shoppers and modernise the town, but heritage must be kept alive at the same time.
The early signs are good. The announcement of the winning design of the centrepiece structure for the development of Fish Hill Square is modern and striking, and also features local historical connections.
If feel this is important for Royston, as it’s necessary for a town of this size to offer a relaxing, pleasant and enjoyable shopping experience.
It doesn’t contain the well-known high street outlets like Stevenage or Cambridge, so needs to make up for it with a comfortable atmosphere, independent shops, and a mixture of contemporary and matured buildings.
Fish Hill Square is a perfect opportunity to showcase Royston’s unique appeal. The Dish restaurant is an example of an old building – the courthouse – being retained with a modern twist.
The plaques in the town depicting former uses of buildings are interesting, and highlight the importance of remembering legacy.
I hope the building of housing developments in the town create future opportunities for these to be placed, as well as creating much-needed affordable quality housing.
If it goes ahead, I can imagine the first house built on Royston Town’s Football ground at Garden Walk having a plaque to remind of the site’s past use.
History should be created as well as remembered, and I hope the new developments in Royston do both.