Astley Castle

The Brief

After eight centuries of continuous habitation, Astley Castle lay in ruins and its custodian the Landmark Trust had been trying to rescue it for 20 years. A bold decision was taken to turn the Grade II Listed building into a contemporary holiday home to let, thus securing the future of the site whilst also generating income. The Client’s brief required that the most important parts of the surviving fabric of the building were, following their own and English Heritage’s principles be retained and repaired wherever possible.

The design for the scheme stiches the living accommodation within the medieval core of the castle. A large, light living room with kitchen, dining and sitting areas is situated on the upper floor with 4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, and entrance hall and feature staircase on the ground floor below. The fifteenth and seventeenth century rooms are left as open courts and a lift gives access to all floors.

Client

The Landmark Trust

Location

Astley, Warwickshire

Architect

Witherford Watson Mann

Size

3,067 ft²

Sector

  • Heritage

Services

  • Cost Consultancy
  • Contract Administration

The Challenge

The project was technically challenging particularly with the necessary conservation of the remaining fabric of the castle. As well as being Grade II Listed the site was designated as a Scheduled Ancient Monument in 1994 and was officially a Building at Risk. Foundations, walls, lintels and roofs required to buttress and tie the remnants together were sensitively repaired and strengthened. Inside the property high quality joinery and finishes were installed and exposed brickwork walls help distinguish the new from the old.

 

 

 

The Outcome

Upon completion the project was considered to be ground-breaking in the way that it has sensitively stitched together the ancient ruins with modern accommodation, and it is for this reason that Astley Castle awarded the Stirling Prize for Architecture. The castle is now one of the Landmark Trust’s most popular properties and has featured extensively in numerous publications and broadcast media.

 

 

 

 

0
First record or manor house
0
Grade II Listed
0 m
Floor to ceiling height of First floor
“Astley Castle is a new departure, both for the Landmark Trust, but also in the approach to ruined historic buildings. We are tremendously proud of a scheme which represents an original way of reviving a ruined building.”
Dr Anna Keay
Director of the Landmark Trust

Other Projects We’ve Completed Include

The Cathedral & Abbey of St Alban

Leighton House Museum

Brighton Dome Corn Exchange & Studio Theatre