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BIRCHINGTON HERITAGE TRUST
GALLERY

Birchington Hall
~1966

~1966

The old Birchington Hall was used as a Baby Home from about 1954 and continued as such until the new purpose-built home was opened in 1966.  The old house continued to be used for a short while after this, mainly for storage, but was eventually abandoned.  Sadly, nothing was known about its ancient history at this time, as the old 1800 picture did not see the light of day until 2003, when a copy of it was given to the Birchington Heritage Trust.  So when it was decided to pull down the white stucco covered building in about 1970-1, the event went almost unnoticed.  The Homes themselves were closed only a few years later, in 1978, due mainly to new thinking on the way young children should be raised.  It was felt that the concept of large Homes was no longer the best way to deal with the situation.  Supporting the families in their own homes was felt to be far better, with carefully vetted fostering being used as a last resort. 


The site was sold to the developers Stirling Homes soon after this and has since emerged as the Birch Hill Estate by the mid 1980s.  Many of the roads on the site commemorate significant people with Spurgeon connections.  The final area, covering the ground where the old Hall stood, was not developed until 2000 and has three quiet closes on it, with many of the old trees being retained.  Two of the old wells from those early days were uncovered while work was in progress.


The plot of land opposite the house on the north side of the Canterbury Road was part of the Birchington Hall farmland.  It was from this meadow that the 1800 picture of the house was painted.  When Spurgeon’s put the property on the market, Thanet District Council bought this small piece and in recent years it has become ‘Crispe Park’.  It might have been more appropriate to have named it Friend’s Park or Gray Park, or even Spurgeon’s park, in honour of its history, as it has never ever had any connection with the Crispe Family of Quex Park.