Does Imperial’s ‘vision’ extend to Grade I buildings?

At the end of last week, we highlighted the appalling state of Coldharbour — one of the original farmsteads that make up the Wye College estate and once the home to the principal.

Since then, we have been sent evidence of the neglect of other buildings within the Wye College campus — from the oldest to the newest. Today, we print two pictures. The first is of the Latin School — one of the original buildings that make up the Grade I listed heart of the old Wye College. It is a 15th century building, built shortly after Cardinal Kempe founded the college itself. The school building is of flint and lime construction with a peg tile roof and is the first building in what makes up the historic heart of Wye. It is a Grade I listed structure with special conditions on its upkeep and appearance. One of the conditions is that the guttering must be cast iron. However, as our picture below shows, the guttering on the Latin School does not appear to be high on the list of priorities for maintenance. The paint has flaked off and sections of the guttering are corroding very badly. The guttering is sagging as the risers corrode and there appears to be evidence of damp penetration through the eave boards.

Grade I Listed
The Latin School with its badly corroded guttering

Our next picture is of the most modern building on the Wye College campus: the library. Officially called the Kempe Centre, this £4 million award-winning building was opened in 1996. But as the picture below shows, there appears to be a problem with the guttering on this building, too.

Scaffolding is holding up part of the heavy, hi-tech guttering system on the Kempe Centre’s amazing roof. The scaffolding has been in place for a year but there is no sign of any remedial work being carried out. This was raised at the January 9 public meeting when Professor Sir Leszek Borysiewicz told 550 Wye residents about his ‘vision’ for the new Wye College. The village was assured that the building was important and that the repair would be carried out forthwith but, as you can see, we are still waiting. How much must this scaffolding be costing Imperial?

Kempe Centre
The Kempe Centre and the scaffolding that has been up for a year
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About David Hewson

Professional novelist, published in more than 20 languages. Creator of the Nic Costa series set in modern Rome. Most recent book the novel of the Danish TV series, The Killing.
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