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Architecture Awards 2019


The Derbyshire Historic Buildings Trust launched their second Architecture Awards in the Gothic Hall at Elvaston Castle on Saturday 16th November 2019.  The guests numbered forty.  Tea and cakes were served on arrival in the old state dining room, followed by the awards and a champagne reception in the Gothic Hall.  Oliver Gerrish hosted the Awards and the Guest of Honour, Kit Martin CBE, presented the Awards.  

Photographs below all courtesy of Derbyshire Life magazine.


The Awards are a high point in the heritage calendar for Derbyshire. The 2019 judging committee included journalist and writer Matthew Parris, Editor of Derbyshire Life, Joy Hales,  founder of the Bonsall Field Barn Project, Elisabeth Stoppard, Oliver Gerrish (Awards coordinator) and Barry Joyce MBE.


The Trust has given people all over the county the chance to enter their architectural projects for the Awards. The Awards bring deserved public recognition to those who work tirelessly to safeguard Derbyshire’s built heritage.


These were the 2019 winners and those given commendations:-


Restoration of an historic building in an urban setting


Commendation: The Coach House at The Cavendish Hotel, Baslow

The architect for this project was Haxton Koyander Architecture Ltd and the owners, the Chatsworth Settlement Trustees.

Haxton Koyander designed and project managed the remodeling of this 18th century Derbyshire stone coach house.

The building, which had been a residential let for many years, is now an elegant four-bedroom annex for the hotel, its ground floor rooms especially designed to give luxury and comfort to guests with mobility problems.

Judges were impressed with how the architects were able to retain integrity, whilst giving the utilitarian building a new life.

Winner: The fascia renovation at Ashbourne Town Hall

Architect: Guy Taylor Associates
Client: Ashbourne Town Council
Contractor: Bonsers Restoration

The repair work on the Grade II listed Town Hall, which dates from 1861, included:

* Overhauling the sash windows to the front façade including secondary glazing
* Repairing the stonework to the front façade
* Rehanging the front doors in the original frame
* Carefully removing the internal draft porch and making good disturbed areas. Fitting a pair of new glass doors with a full height glass over panel to the entrance area
* Repairing the French doors to the portico
* Overhauling the roof and rainwater goods.

Judges were very impressed with the sympathetic and skilful approach to the work carried out on the former market hall. Urgent repairs were necessary after it was discovered that the stone frontage was dangerously eroded. 

Original materials and features have been lovingly repaired and retained so that the building can now continue to serve the community of Ashbourne.

Winner: The New Bath Hotel, Matlock

The second of the two joint winners were those involved with the project to bring the New Bath Hotel in Matlock back to life.

Just over three years ago the Jajbhay family visited Derbyshire and specifically Matlock Bath. They were presented with an opportunity to purchase the derelict hotel building, once known for it’s pristine and wonder. 

To many, this dilapidated spectacle looked lost and beyond repair, but with clear vision and passion the family adopted the project. 

Working hard to ensure the history and character not to be disturbed, whilst also ensuring the demands of the 21st century were met, were challenging times. In 2017 the hotel opened the doors after completion of phase one and began to operate once again. Much work remained and over time tasks were completed. 

As of June 2019 the hotel was fully operational with 54 bedrooms, a ballroom, restaurants, lounges, bars, spa facilities and also the famous historic natural spring fed swimming pool. 

Everyone that has been associated with the hotels planning, construction and operations should feel very proud as this has not only restored a Derbyshire landmark but created jobs for local residents and continues to drive tourism to the area. 

With a hidden indoor pool from 1745, we think it is safe to say, there could be even more to come from this once forgotten building!

For more information:


Reuse of an historic building

Commendation: Armsgate, Melbourne

Stanton Developments
Architect: Matthew Montague Architects
Craftsman: Gowercroft Joinery

Stanton Developments acquired the former Melbourne Arms Public House at public auction in April 2015. Extensive alterations and extensions to form an Indian restaurant were carried out in the 1990s and it remained in use until late 2014. 

The property enjoyed Grade II Listed Building Status from 1987 until an application by the previous owner in 2013 and subsequent review by English Heritage resulted in its delisting. 

Consequently, South Derbyshire District Council extended Melbourne’s Conservation Area in response, affording the building a degree of protection. Despite inheriting a somewhat checkered situation the team worked proactively with the Local Authority to ensure a sensitive and sympathetic restoration of an important landmark structure on the southerly approach to Melbourne.

Planning permission was granted in September 2016 for a scheme of works to refurbish and convert the former public house and restaurant into two 4 bedroom dwellings. The design comprised of removing the unsympathetic red brick additions, stripping the property back to its original form.

Armsgate was named for its gateway position to the town and to reflect its history as The Melbourne Arms. The public house was built by Francis Dalman, a full-time inn keeper. 

The Armsgate site has been designed to sit comfortably within its Conservation Area surroundings. The renovated former public house and the new yet sympathetically designed executive homes complement each other within the fully landscaped country courtyard development.

Judges were very impressed with the approach to this landmark building; the focus on reviving external features and the overall attention to detail.

Commendation: Clowes Developments for the Cosy Club in The Royal Building, Corn Market/Victoria Street, Derby

Owner: Clowes Developments
Architects: David Bland (external works)
and Richard Pedlar Architects (for the Cosy Club)
Contractor: Greenhill Construction Ltd

The Royal Building in Derby, leased to the Cosy Club, has recently been successfully redeveloped to become an important part of Derby's restaurant/night time economy offer.

Many people will know that this building used to be the Royal Hotel, built in 1837. The Royal Hotel closed in 1951 and has had numerous uses since then including market research offices, a tanning studio and nightclub.

As part of this development, The Royal Building had a new staircase and a lift to the first floor installed; partition walls were removed to form a large bar and dining area; Darley Classics Period Mouldings Ltd restored the ornate plaster work and the windows were also fully refurbished.

The Cosy Club have fitted out the interior in period style to a very high specification.

The stonework fronting on Corn Market/Victoria Street has been restored with THI (Townscape Heritage Initiative) Grant Assistance from Derby City Council and a new shopfront has also been installed.

Definitely a venue we want to visit again very soon!

Winner: Wirksworth Heritage Centre

The winner of the Award for 'Reuse of an Historic Building' went to Wirksworth Heritage Centre for the refurbishment and extension of the Grade II listed building in the centre of Wirksworth.

Owner: Wirksworth Heritage Centre
Architect: Lathams

Lathams was commissioned in 2015 to examine the potential to refurbish 31, St John’s Street and 20, St Mary’s Gate, Wirksworth. The Wirksworth Heritage Charitable Trust obtained the properties in May 2010 and soon after, decided to relocate to the High Street which provided them with ‘kerb appeal’ and enhanced opportunities for the future. 

In 2016, The Heritage Centre received a grant of £1,338,900 from the National Lottery Heritage Fund to transform the building into a purpose built exhibition space.

The project comprises a major refurbishment to the existing Grade II listed building. The design remodels the existing ground, first and second floor to create four new, accessible heritage gallery rooms alongside a new reception, kitchen, retail shop and accessible toilet. Previously, the building was used as residential accommodation and the existing floor plan posed accessibility issues for potential visitors.

The new Heritage Centre provides a much more accessible building for all users of all ages. 

The new build two storey extension to the rear includes a cafeteria on the ground floor and meeting space/ studio to the upper floor. This has been sensitively designed to be subservient to the historic building, by dropping its ridge below that of the existing building. It appears as a modern additional using modern render and metal windows/louvres, but with a tiled roof, using the lower ridge to highlight it as a new element. 

The project successfully received planning permission in August 2016 and construction works finished on site in October 2018, carried out by Bonsers Building Restoration and Conservation Ltd.

The Deborah Devonshire Award for Outstanding Overall Project

The Deborah Devonshire Award was presented to Patterns Developments Ltd for the restoration of the Long Mill at Darley Abbey Mills.

The Long Mill is the earliest building on the West Mill site, it was erected in 1782/3 on the eastern bank of the River Derwent. The exact date to which the Mill was operational is unclear, but records suggest 1787; and when struck by fire in 1788, the Long Mill was described as having workshops and warehouses, attributing to this date. Darley Abbey Mills itself, remains the most complete set of Cotton Spinning Mills in the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage. The Long Mill at Darley Abbey was in use for cotton spinning for almost two hundred years, only ceasing in 1969, since which, the building has remained largely empty, until recently.

As it survives today, The Long Mill consists of five storeys and an attic. 

Patterns Developments acquired the building in December 2012 and formulated a business plan to renovate the Grade I Listed building into creative offices. A detailed and positive pre-application process with the Derby City Council conservation department and English Heritage followed. In July 2014, a planning and listed building application was submitted to convert the building into offices. 

The letting of office space has secured the financial viability of the building.

The owners then turned to focusing on the external fabric of the building, which had deteriorated since 1969. A scope of works was prepared by CTD Architects Ltd of Leek, to repair and renovate the external fabric, this included re- roofing, new leadwork, re-bedding of coping stones, repointing of 75% of the building’s brickwork, DOFF cleaning, indent stone repairs and the re-rendering of the fourth floor. 

New gas, water and electricity services have been introduced to the building. The external fabric works have recently been completed and discussions are being had for the Long Mill to be removed from the Historic England Risk Register.

The Long Mill now breathes life again; the once occupied floors noisily humming with the sound of cotton looms have made way for a unique, twenty first century office space, juxtaposed against a tranquil landscape. 

The respectful renovation of The Long Mill now provides a base for five companies, and the careful retention of its original features are what make the building such an inspirational space.

New building in an historic setting

Commendation: Stackyard Cottage, Middleton-by-Wirksworth

The site for Stackyard Cottage is modest and surrounded by stone cottages of varying size and character, some of which are grade II listed. It is also within Middleton-by-Wirksworth's Conservation Area and close to the Peak District National Park.

The site was purchased with an existing planning permission achieved by Derek Trowell Architects (now GRT Architecture). However, as this is the architects own home, a number of key changes were developed to the design and character of the building which required a fresh planning application.

The house is positioned to the north side of the small site creating a south facing courtyard, which presents a stone gable end to the street. This positions all of the windows in the house on the south facing elevation, overlooking the private courtyard.

Externally the form and appearance are reminiscent of the field barns so prevalent in the vicinity, and while there is an element of modern reinterpretation, it sits comfortably in the village context. Natural stone walls wrap around 3 elevations, with only the south facing courtyard elevation having windows and stained timber cladding. These, along with the fibre cement sheet roof, visually connect the house with its surrounding neighbourhood.

Internally, a central stair reduces circulation and the living accommodation was switched to the upper floor. In this tight village location, it opens up a number of views over the village roofscape and to the surrounding countryside, but also gives a surprising sense of volume inside. 

The upper floor also has a study / library, while the lower floor has 2 bedrooms, bathroom and utility room. Materials have been chosen for their honesty and simplicity of construction such as birch faced plywood walls and polished concrete ground floors, yet these still achieve a comfortable and homely character.

Winner: Formake Hall, Repton Preparatory School, Glass Dining Hall

Architect: Matthew Montague Architects

Judges were impressed with a striking new dining hall designed to fit perfectly into both the historic built environment and natural rural setting is now in use at Foremarke Hall, Repton’s preparatory school.

The brief for the building outlined a desire for an inside, outside connectivity with large opening doors and a relationship with the natural environment, while at the same time improving the dining experience for the pupils and the efficiency of the lunch time routine for the school. The building needed to be able to serve breakfast, lunch and dinner for over 500 pupils and staff whilst having the capability to host functions and events, day or night.

These needs have been met by an innovative glass pavilion style dining hall accessed off a large central corridor where dual queuing halves serving time. The whole building has been positioned so that the main approach views to the historic Foremarke Hall building remain uninterrupted, and at the same time the 4.5m high glazing allows panoramic views of the grounds and woods for the 180 diners looking out. 

The building is topped by a floating extended roof canopy supported by tree-like steels, used to reflect the trees immediately outside the windows and further connecting the building to the landscape. 

As well as creating a relationship between the building and its natural environment, Foremarke was keen to make sure the new hall had its own identity but would also integrate with existing adjacent buildings, some of which date back to the 18th century. 

The new dining hall is a complete replacement of previous dining and kitchen facilities which have been demolished. The new building has more dining space and it opens the kitchen to the main dining hall, so pupils can see how their food is being prepared and kitchen staff are aware of how meal times are progressing. Previously the kitchen and servery were in different buildings from the dining area.

Conservation Champion

Conservation Champion: Restoration of 1934 Thermal Lido Pool - Jason Skipper

Jason 'Skip' Skipper was the deserving winner of this category at our Architecture Awards last month.

The 1934 lido swimming pool is within the grounds of the New Bath Hotel, Matlock. Following the closure of the hotel in 2012, the pool had been left to deteriorate.

Skip, a trainer of triathlon athletes, was passionate about securing its restoration and reuse. Indeed, before the sale of the hotel, Skip got permission from the former owners to use it, in its unrestored state, for training sessions by members of the Belper 10:20 Triathlon Club.

Following purchase of the hotel in 2015, Skip was allowed to continue using it and he became the pool's great champion; impressing on the new owner its unique qualities.

Skip managed to secure agreement for restoration of the pool and personally oversaw the extensive work needed to bring it back to its former glory. Work included removing many layers of paint so the inside surfaces of thick lime 'concrete' walls and floors. Skip then painted the walls and floors with special anti-fungal resistant paint. 

The pool re-opened in June 2019 - a gala occasion attended by many famous names!

The pool is unique in Derbyshire and is matched only by the spa pool in Bath. This is because it is fed by the most wonderful natural thermal, mineral rich, spring water.

Jason Skipper continues his commitment to the pool, now as superintendent and senior life guard.

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