leybourne grange | reporters, residents and removers

The Main Hall was similarly styled; it reminded me of a squared animal, the entrance between its cubed paws; the Sphinx in brick and on a budget.

Again, the architecture was typical, ugly, and in some way, human and interesting. I wondered if the buildings around the colony were designed bythe Ministry Of Works - as many airfield and public buildings were. There was something familiar about the styles.

Again, no-one wanted to go in. Again, I didn’t want to split the group up: we’d heard the car, and spotted someone walking a dog.

I decided to spend five minutes inside. The rooms were vandalised, partitions were pushed through, and the local kids (or someone) had made a den in the corner. The walls and ceilings were heavily blackened as if a sooty, oxygen-starved fire had been lit and burnt out.

The site is owned by English Partnerships who are actively working on its ‘regeneration’. That means it will be flattened (except the Manor House), with 700 homes packed on to the elegantly landscaped lawns and between the lines of trees. The houses will be of high quality (whatever that means), but 100 will be allocated to first time buyers.

It looks unlikely if any of the 1930s buildings will survive; they have little architectural merit. But I felt oddly sad at the thought of the nurses’ home being bulldozed; it just seems so brutally pretty.