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16 Dec 2020

Selwyn Heights’ new dementia care/memory support unit

Connecting the old with the new: Selwyn Heights uncovers its link with the past

At Selwyn Heights, building consent has recently been received for the development of a standalone, 12-room dementia care/memory support unit incorporating access into a secure garden, on the eastern boundary of the village site opening onto Pah Road. Work has now started on the site, with the construction programme expected to be completed by mid-October 2021.  

An interesting aspect of this project is that archaeological remains of a historic site will be preserved as part of the building programme. Selwyn Heights is located on the edge of Monte Cecilia Park, the centrepiece of which is The Pah Farm Homestead which is listed as a historic heritage place. Both sites originally formed part of The Pah Farm and collectively make up a significant heritage landscape. Two historic sites associated with the European occupation of Pah Farm are located within the area designated for the new dementia care centre; these include a section of the original carriage drive as well as the entrance gates to the carriage drive (built around the late 1800s).

Whilst no original features of the carriage drive are visible today within the project site, other than the alignment of the central drive under the modern concrete driveway, the results of a geophysical survey undertaken as part of an archaeological assessment of the village property show potential intact parts of the carriage drive beneath the current driveway. The carriage drive entrance with its 2+m high blue stone pillar gates are still present on Pah Road within the project site, and pedestrian entrances with lower stone pillars are also located on either side of the main gate pillars, in addition to the remains of a low stone wall from the gates that run along part of the street frontage.

 

Consequently, as part of the development of the dementia care centre, the concrete driveway along the carriage drive will be removed and landscaped to create a visual open corridor, and the stone gates and walls will be retained and restored using appropriate conservation methods.

We’re looking forward to incorporating this fascinating link with the past into our new development, which will be a wonderful addition to our range of care services and will allow us to offer dedicated residential care for people living with dementia at Selwyn Heights for the first time ever.