Heritage Conservation

More than one in five buildings in the UK was built before 1919 and they are officially classed as ‘historic’. Careful intervention can transform them from liabilities into assets fit for the future.

Our Approach

Spratley & Partners has a proud tradition of working with historic buildings and places. Renovating, restoring and breathing new life into existing buildings is a fundamental part of our practice. For us, it’s important to see that historic buildings are not time capsules, unchanging since the moment they were built, but instead evolve over time.

Our interventions are just a chapter in the life of a building and we have a responsibility to future generations to leave these assets in the best state we can. Inspired by a building’s past, we make thoughtful changes to give new life and prepare it for the next part of its story.

Team Accreditations

Our expertise in the conservation field is led by Associate Claire Paterson along with Mike Anderson. Claire gained valuable experience working on the refurbishment of the Houses of Parliament and Palace of Westminster before joining our team in 2018. With 25 years’ experience, Claire’s recent projects include the refurbishment and extension of a number of important listed residences in Marlow and Henley and the listed Manor House at Heckfield Place.

Mike has recently completed the RIBA Conservation Course and is a member of the RIBA Conservation Register. He is training to become a registered Conservation Architect.

Sustainability and Heritage

The demands of conservation and sustainability are often seen in conflict but this doesn’t need to be the case. The treatment of traditional buildings requires a different set of skills and material solutions to modern construction, and we believe a holistic approach generates results that harmoniously balance these demands.

We give heritage assets the best chance of survival by championing a retrofit approach, working closely with clients and design teams to optimise potential. This allows us to reduce operational energy while improving liveability and making positive contributions to social and economic sustainability.

Sensitive Locations

Whether working on historic buildings or weaving into historic surroundings our work is sensitive to its context. We work closely with carefully selected conservation, ecological, planning and landscape consultants to help us navigate the design process and maximise the potential of a project.

Projects within conservation areas or within the curtilage of historic structures need to carefully respond to their surroundings and enhance the sense of place that makes these sites unique. These considerations are as relevant within an urban setting as within the rolling landscapes of national parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and our approach adapts and responds to the context of each project.

With offices in Henley-on-Thames and Bristol, we collaborate with local conservation officers and national bodies, including Historic England and The National Trust, to negotiate a path through planning, listed building and legal frameworks.

Design solutions for historic buildings vary from repair and maintenance, through adaptation and upgrading, all the way to imaginative re-use, and every combination in between. But there is always one main focus – making the most of opportunities that sustain and enhance the property’s significance. Every project aims to strike a balance between sensitive intervention to preserve and restore historic fabric and clever design to enable new and improved uses.

Heritage Conservation Projects

Our work on historic and listed buildings covers a diverse range of settings and styles, from retrofitting commercial spaces behind a Grade I listed façade on London’s St James’s Square, to creating a luxury hotel at the Grade II listed 19th Century country house at Heckfield Place in Hampshire. We have worked on numerous private homes, including the Grade II listed Blewbury Manor, in rural Oxfordshire. Other ongoing projects continue to showcase our commitment to making the most of the opportunities presented by historic places. A major retrofit and extension of the Grade II* Byfleet Manor is taking a neglected building within the Green Belt and creating a family home fit for the future. The restoration and upgrade of Crowhurst Place, a stunning Grade I listed 15th Century house, involves close collaboration with the local conservation officer and specialist consultants, with the aim of delivering a low carbon home.

Farmington Lodge is a Grade II listed country house and estate within the Cotswolds AONB with an architecturally and archaeologically complex past. It had been extensively extended and remodelled over the past three centuries. Our proposed scheme for the lodge includes a series of interlinked adaptations, careful preservation and restoration of historic features, upgrades to the existing fabric and improved access with a glass lift to connect the principal floors.

Our project at Knighton Mill shows a different approach, with a new home built on a sensitive site. Carefully considered placement, material selection and composition were central to balancing the argument in favour of the development at a location that straddles a small river in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and which has significant properties as neighbours. The design blends traditional and modern styles against a backdrop of the site’s history as a working mill.

If you’d like to know more about our conservation approach and credentials, or have a project where heritage conservation is a priority, please do get in touch.

A lot of care has been taken; the attention to detail is extraordinary. The historic property and grounds have been lovingly restored and future-proofed and we have had the luxury of time to do this. You can see it in the restored architectural details, the established, fruitful gardens, the complementary interior design.

General Manager, Heckfield Place
See: Results & Recognition