CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

Blur star’s bid to save spiritualist temple after communication from beyond grave

Former temple built with funding from Sherlock writer Arthur Conan Doyle faces demolition

10 August, 2017 — By Tom Foot

He says the spiritualist temple was great comfort to many people. Photo: Tom Beard

GRAHAM Coxon has backed spiritualists who are challenging plans to demolish a former temple where the Blur guitarist says he received a communication from his grandfather and experimented with Shamanic healing.

Mr Coxon, who lives in Camden Town, said it would be a “tragedy” if a developer’s application to knock down the Rochester Square Spiritualist Temple was approved.

The musician, who featured on all eight Blur albums, told the New Journal: “I used to go there every summer. They used to have a £5 a day entry. There were all kinds of people set up there, doing various readings. Granted, they are quite eccentric, but they were really good people. I had some experiences with Shamanic therapies there.

“It was very strange. I went in and had a communication with my granddad, Percy. I had messages from my granddad, personal things, that there were no way they could have known. He died in the 1970s.

“I enjoyed it, regardless to whether it was real or true I left in a way feeling uplifted and a bit more serene. That led me to believe that it had been a great help to a lot of people.”

He added: “I’ve lived for more than 20 years in that area. It would be a tragedy to see it get knocked down. It may not be safe also to build the basement with the pipes below.”

The temple was originally built with funds from Sherlock Holmes author, the spiritualist Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, who laid a founding stone for the building.

The developer, Urban-lab, has submitted plans to knock it down and build a new three-storey building on the site with nine flats and a “new flexible arts- based community space”.

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