Award for restored Valley church

St Peter's Church, at Stonyhurst College, which has won a RICS award for its restoration.
St Peter's Church, at Stonyhurst College, which has won a RICS award for its restoration.

RESTORATION work to an historic Ribble Valley church has won a prestgious award from the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).

Preston and Chester-based architects Cassidy and Ashton has been highly commended in a prestigious industry award for its work to revive and re-light St Peter’s Church at Stonyhurst College. The recognition came in the RICS Awards building conservation category, which showcases outstanding work to preserve and restore historically important buildings.

St Peter's Church, at Stonyhurst College, which has won a RICS award for its restoration.

St Peter's Church, at Stonyhurst College, which has won a RICS award for its restoration.

The £1.5m. restoration project of the Grade I listed 19th century church has made it fit for modern-day use while restoring its original decorative features. It has included uncovering historic stencilling which had been whitewashed over, cleaning stained glass windows and restoring stencilling panels dating back to the 1870s and 1950s, giving visitors a glimpse of the past. Lighting was also addressed, under-floor heating and new carpet installed, and pews cleaned and repaired.

Stonework and décor which had been damaged through weathering was replaced. Cassidy and Ashton also provided building surveying services, assisted by structural and quantity surveying consultants, and worked closely with the Historic Churches Committee on the project.

Michael Hartley, Director of Cassidy and Ashton, said: “To be recognised by our professional body is a fantastic accolade and we are extremely pleased to have been highly commended for our work on St Peter’s.

“We were up against stiff competition as there are some fantastic architectural projects across the North West, so to be recognised is all the more rewarding. St Peter’s Church is a beautiful building and it has been a real pleasure to have been able to bring it back to its former glory and make it suitable for practical use in the 21st century.”

John Cowdall, Secretary to the Historic Churches Committee, which commissioned the work, said: “I cannot tell you how wonderful the church looks. Everything about it simply makes a huge statement. The windows now look like they were intended to look and the re-decoration scheme is by far the best that I have seen in all my 16 years as secretary of the Historic Churches Committee.”

Cassidy and Ashton has a long experience of preserving and reviving listed buildings, and is currently working on improvements to Grade II listed St Mary’s church in Goosnargh. For more information visit: www.cassidyashton.co.uk