A landmark church building in Kent designed by the architect of St. Pancras Station has been saved from decades of decay thanks to a restoration project that has seen it transformed into stunning apartments.
The Storm team was delighted to be invited to work on the project which has breathed new life into All Saints Church in Hawkhurst, saving it from demolition after it sat vacant and crumbling for years.
The Grade II listed building, constructed in 1861, was designed by Sir George Gilbert Scott, considered one of the country’s most influential and prolific architects of the foremost 19th century. His church work epitomizes Victorian ecclesiastical design and All Saints Church is one of four small village churches considered amongst his best. His masterpiece is widely regarded to be St. Pancras Railway Station in London, but he is also especially remembered in London for the Albert Memorial and the Foreign Office.
Many attempts have been made to save the All Saints Church building throughout its lifetime. Numerous developers have bought and sold the property, the local council made a bid to save it by turning it into a much-needed new community centre and even a group of local volunteers gathered funds to carry out a detailed study and commissioned architects to save the building in the 80s. But due to the extent of the work required and costs involved, the challenges seemed insurmountable and the once distinguished local landmark deteriorated into an eyesore.
Serious consideration was given, at one point, to demolishing the building altogether.
Finally in 2017, new developers, Freelands, bought the site and set about the mammoth task of sympathetically remodelling the deconsecrated church into five exclusive dwellings.
The historic sandstone building will now live on and five lucky families can make the resulting refurbished apartments a unique and awe-inspiring period home in the heart of the village.
Works to the building have included the restoration of the 115-ft spire, which has been fully clad in traditional cedar shingles. The former belfry, now a study, provides 360-degree views of the Kent and Sussex countryside.
While it has undergone a remarkable transformation, plenty of the historic features of the building have been saved and incorporated into the new design. That includes, of course, those gorgeous church windows.
The prominent arched and circular windows, some having original stained glass panes, are a truly eye-catching focal point. Like many single-glazed, aged windows, however, they were a massive contributor to heat loss. This was where the Storm team’s expertise came into its own as skilled craftsmen specialising in the preservation of listed and character windows. Our bespoke secondary glazing units were meticulously prepared to fit and insulate the old church windows.
This work has been recognised on the website which states: “Internally, the stunning stained glass and leaded windows have been fully restored and upgraded for energy performance and security through the installation of heritage friendly secondary glazed panels.”
The transformation of the building is truly astonishing. You can find more details of the project and see some of the amazing photographs here.
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