This being Osborn House. it used to be a boys’ home at one time but has been empty for 10 years or so. It was sold to a private owner a few years ago. it was condemned in 1998 because of the roof and structure also it was abandoned some years before that because the old owners who lived in the property for only 6 months thought it was haunted saying they could hear children singing at night while they were in bed and poltergeist activity in the kitching involving one of the residents being seriously injured by a cheese grater of all things.
In its time it was a grand and famously maintained home, having polished oak an mahogany doors, balustrade staircases leading to the upstairs rooms. The first floor salon had oak parka flooring A magnificent ornate fireplace , and the walls of the room were decorated with panels of jade green silk.
Built in late Victorian times as a gentleman’s club, it contains a magnificent room, known as the billiard room, which boasts a large fireplace, with a chimney piece of dark wood, inlaid with beautiful designs. Local residents are bidding to have it listed as a building of architectural interest. Preservation orders are to be placed on the trees in front of it.
Many local residents remember this impressive building well, as they attended playgroups run in its large rooms, and feasts prepared in its kitchens. They are shocked that such a valuable community asset should be sold off by the Council.
Osborn House functioned as a children’s home until 1997. Before that its extensive grounds included the land where St Catherine’s Church Hall now stands. It was bequeathed by a former owner in 1943, but to whom? Documents disclosed by the Council state that ‘the Seller (i.e. the Council) is unable to deduce title to the property. The property is sold with no title guarantee.’ This suggests that they can’t find the deeds. Have they lost them, or did they never have them?