St. Augustine’s Priory – Building Conservation and Refurbishment

Key Facts:

Client Name: Sisters of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary
Location: Colwyn Bay, North Wales
Type of client: Care Home
Disciplines provided by M+C: Building Surveying | Conservation | Procurement | Project Management
Value: £169,000
M+C Lead: Lee Hatwell

St. Augustine’s Priory has an interesting and varied history, with direct links back to Essex; prompting Munday + Cramer’s appointment to deliver an extensive building conservation project featuring external masonry repairs and window refurbishment/replacement.

Over the course of its history, the St. Augustine’s Priory has also been a hotel and at a later stage in its history was home to a Community of Augustinian Nuns. In 1939 The Sisters of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary (“The Chigwell Sisters“) took over the Priory. Over the years it has served as a Holiday home for the Sisters, a Guest House and a Residential Nursing Home.

The Priory consists of The Church of the Sacred Heart (the chapel); built in 1956 by The Chigwell Sisters in thanksgiving for their protection during the Second World War. It is constructed from a very red brick with a central doorway with three arched windows above, and the adjacent building. This larger building, dated 1907 on the rainwater hopper, features three storeys, of red brick with sandstone mullioned and transomed windows and a slate roof. Circular bay windows – one on the front and one on the side – and a two storey bay on the projecting part add some additional architectural interest.

Being a busy site, used by the Sisters as a residential nursing home, the building was showing major signs of wear and tear; including the effects of its coastal location. M+C were appointed to plan and oversee the extensive building conservation project which focused on external masonry works and the refurbishment of the sash windows.

Being located within the centre of a Conservation Area, the project required careful coordination with the local Heritage Officers; complicated further by the variance from English rules with the property being located in North Wales. Works predominantly consisted of the refurbishment of the original sash windows. In a number of cases, replacements were sought in conjunction with the Heritage Officers. Masonry repairs were also extensively undertaken to the external façade; including major works to the Sandstone window surrounds and sills. Throughout the scheme, local tradesmen were sought in order to maintain the local building techniques originally used within the construction of the Priory.