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The Grange, 16 St Peter’s Street

“Hello!  I’m the house in front of the Arena.  You probably know me as a Building Society.  Now I’m stuck between ugly office blocks, but it was very different in the 1760s when I was built for John Osborn, three times mayor of St Albans. Then my grounds stretched to Victoria Street, including those office blocks, the Civic Centre, Arena and Waterend Barn.  People called me ‘a country house in the town’.
You know, they recently found an advertisement they think describes me in the early 1800s.  St Peters Street was then ‘the most pleasant and healthy part of St Albans’ and I offered ‘every convenience for the genteel family’!
Hard to believe now but besides the main house there were stables, a coach house, a walled pleasure ground planted with trees, a kitchen garden, an orchard, a brewhouse with a well and there was still space to keep dogs, pigs and chickens. They even grew melons in my gardens, all very upmarket.  Can you imagine melon-growing on St Peters Street today?”

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