Dr Chris Grover has an interest in the development of Victorian suburbs and their survival. She has travelled widely visiting former colonial countries such as Australia, New Zealand and Canada where she drove (with help) from Vancouver to the Atlantic Provinces. She has visited many cities and towns in these countries in which the architectural legacy of Empire still stand.
Extensive areas of Victorian and to a lesser extent Georgian properties have survived fire, flood, earthquakes, war and waves of town planning initiatives. The survival of these historic properties is often the result of changes of use. Larger properties were often divided to provide cheap accommodation, but in recent times renovation has produced riches for the developers and the older suburbs have been gentrified. In many cities and towns public bodies such as universities and health authorities have found new uses for Victorian buildings.
The Victorian Heritage Press was set up in Autumn 2012 as a platform for these interests. The first book to be published is a case study of Winchester’s northern suburb, Hyde: From Dissolution to Victorian Suburb. This looks at the development of Hyde Abbey lands following its dissolution and the destruction of the Abbey buildings by Henry VIII and his henchmen. It traces the passage of the lands through the hands of an expanding gentry family to a family of farmers who, when faced with agricultural depression, made the decision to turn their fields and meadows into housing estates.