While a lot of our more modern place names have seemingly random or tenuously thematic origins there are a good number that look to their surroundings for inspiration. The neatly laid out development that is The Lawns at Crownhill is a good example.
Designed by John Taylor of Truro and built by Dudley Coles of Plymouth in 1966/7, the Lawns -and the neighbouring Manadon Close – were commissioned by St Aubyn Estates and originally put on the market for £4,995 each. The properties however, like so many owned by St Aubyn Estates, were not to be sold freehold but leasehold, for a term of 99 years with a ground rent of £20.
Roger Thomas, who bought one of the new properties back then, and who still lives there today, recalls that they didn’t sell very quickly at all and come 1968, when he bought his house, the ground rent was still the same but the price had dropped by £500 and the lease term had increased by 900 years. “I remember the man telling me at the time that I was duty bound to hand the property back in 999 years in same condition as I had bought it!” Happily it’s not something he has to worry about for at least another 964 years.