Oxted Gasholder - Courtyard Gardens Build - August 2019

Safety barriers above the sheet piling at the Courtyard Gardens Site, Oxted.

Safety barriers above the sheet piling at the Courtyard Gardens Site, Oxted.

Welcome to my August blog about the progress of the St William, Courtyard Gardens development here in Oxted for 111 luxury apartments.

This should have been published over a week ago but due to my business premises relocation this has taken a back seat and now that the holiday period is over I thought it best to publish it now when you have more time to read it as well.

The photographs below tell you more about the story with the captions on each image.

Every time I return to the site I can see the progress that has been made and this month was no exception. It was clear to see all the sheet piling had been inserted and the ground had been excavated for the underground car park to take shape. There was also still evidence of the rim of the demolished gasholder, which was interesting to see.

This blog is the eighth one in the series, the first one was published in January when the demolition of the gasholder started to take place. To follow the story of the progress and to read the previous blogs please follow this link to the Blog pages on the website and select the ones you would like to read.

Three separate blocks are being built with an underground car park - Blocks A, B, and C. To see a model of the finished development call into the offices of Robert Leech Estate Agents in Oxted and opposite my former studio in Station Road East, it’s well worth a visit, it’s an interactive model, not quite one you can walk into but it does tell you a lot about each of the flats available to purchase.

I always have a sense of wonderment when I photograph on site, it’s the sheer scale of the development, although Ness Kingham the Site Manager who accompanies me during the visits, assures me this is one of the smaller developments compared to the vast ones they work on in London.

Fascinating to watch all the elements slowly come together. My visit this month took place on Tuesday 20 August 2019 as a point of reference.

If you would like to keep in touch with my monthly blog about the progress of Courtyard Gardens feel free to click on the ‘subscribe to our newsletter’ button below for our monthly round- up newsletters.

I’ll be back later this month with the September update progress of the site.

Thanks for reading.



Oxted Gasholder April 2019 - Going, Going, Gone!


Welcome to my fourth blog about the demolition of the gas holder that I’m photographing for posterity and to satisfy my own curiosity.

Since I last wrote on 15th March a lot has happened at the demolition site and the gas holder, as you can see has gone for good!

As expected, once the roof was dismantled early last month as described in my previous blog, the next stage to remove the surround of 9 rings high took less time as a cherry picker was used with an operative working to cut away until it was at a manageable height for the next stage to take place.

The final rings of the structure came down very fast indeed with the help of a very experienced operator who, with much precision controlled a cutting machine, which resembled a pre-historic creature that chomped its way through the steel, in what appeared to be an effortless operation.

We experienced much rumbling here at the studio which sent me running with my cameras in hand to capture some of the final stages which happened within 3 days at the end of March.

I’m going to leave the photographs to do the talking as they show the final stages of the demolition process.

It really was a matter of going, going, gone and for good!

The below sequence is from the top of Snatts Hill.

Now that the demolition process is nearing completion, next month in May, St William, the contractors will take their positions on-site to put in place the start of the building process for 111 luxury - 1, 2 and 3 bedroom apartments and penthouses.

You can see a very impressive model of the housing development at Robert Leech Estate Agents opposite the studio, it really is worth taking a look if you are keen to buy one or are just curious to know more.

The below sequence looking from a window at Priory House Dental Practice.

From Station Road East, between Carpet Right and Gloss.

A look on-site.

Various viewpoints.

It really has been a captivating and mesmerising experience photographing the process so far from various viewpoints. The photographs I have shared are just a small selection from a greater number that I intend to share at a later date.

I am going to be continuing the story over the next two years during construction and the completion of Courtyard Gardens, a wonderful new addition to our unique town - Oxted.

I hope this glimpse has taken you on an insightful historical journey.

If you would like to subscribe to my monthly round-up newsletters where these blogs will feature, please scroll down to the bottom of the page to add your contact details on the ‘Subscribe to Our Newsletter’ button.

If you missed the previous 3 newsletters you can see them here on the blog page of the website.

In the meantime enjoy the weekend and I’ll be back next month with the next instalment.

Bye for now…


Oxted Gasholder - Demolition - March 2019

Crane in position for the dismantling of the roof structure..

Crane in position for the dismantling of the roof structure..

Welcome to my third newsletter about the dismantling of the gas holder.

Documenting the process of the demolition of this beast is an eye opener as I watch small and large segments of the roof being cut away and dropped into the pit of the structure.

From the outside it doesn’t look like too much has happened but I can assure you it has, the contractor John F Hunt has been working carefully to dismantle the roof in the first instance, leaving the sides free for dismantling.

So far almost 500 cubic metres of metal have been removed from the gas holder and taken away in skips for recycling and that’s just from the roof!

As the studio is so near to the site we can occasionally feel the ground rumble as we hear pieces of metal falling, other than that it’s easy to forget that such a vast demolition is taking place just a stones throw away!

There are various viewpoints I choose to photograph from to show the progress and the difference for comparison further down the line, I have access to photograph on site too as some of the photographs below show.

The mobile crane has now been exchanged for a cherry-picker which gives extra stability at height, allowing the team to work under greater wind speeds.

As part of the installation of the new utilities into the development for gas, water, electricity and data, St William will soon be undertaking two trial holes in the pavement outside the project on Station Road East. The purpose of this is to establish the location of the services within the pavement to determine the requirements for any service diversions or reinforcement to the pavement build up.

Other useful information to know is that site investigation has been undertaken at various points around the former Johnsdale car park, and there is more to be done around the gas holder in the coming weeks.

This work involves hand digging small trial holes for soil sampling, then cable percussive and rotary drilling to establish the depth and description of the geological make-up of the ground.

The gas holder is going to look very different this time next month as the sides come down reducing the height bit by bit.

I’ll be out and about during the course of next month photographing the different stages, it should be virtually down by the end of April, let’s hope the weather is fine and dry so as not to slow down the process.

I went on site this morning, Friday 15th March and wanted to share the latest update photographs as below! The sound of the metal as it is dumped in the container is deceptive, it sounds like it is falling into a huge deep pit as the sound resonates.

That’s it for this month!

To read my first blog please click here and to read the second one please click here.

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Bye for now.