Ampleforth Abbey and College Trustees

Refurbishment of the Monastery at Ampleforth College. Scheme to refurbish, modernise and provide thermal improvement to the building, part of which dates back to circa 1898. The modernisation works to provide improved facilities and privacy for the Monks along with improved communal facilities.

The Monastic Galleries, Monks’ Rooms and Washroom Facilities

The poor arrangement of Monks’ rooms, communal washrooms, corridors and other facilities of the galleries were rationalised to address the problems of noise transfer and privacy, there was also a need to increase the ratio of and improve the outdated wash facilities, this was done by enlarging the room and providing ensuite facilities.

The Novitiate Facilities

The range of facilities and rooms for the novices and those considering the conventual life needed to be more welcoming and comfortable. The Novitiate Gallery needs to be a place where novices are able to feel at home, whilst at the same time connected to the community. The novitiate needed to have a range of spaces where the novices can work, sleep, relax and enjoy being a part of the Ampleforth community. The facilities were improved to provide a more sensitive space to help the novices make the transition to a communal life of simplicity.

The Infirmary

The Infirmary was poorly connected to the main Monastery building and Abbey Church beyond and had restricted access for those with mobility impairments. The Infirmary was adapted to provide the best use of space for the long term infirm and those who need to be under the watchful care of the nursing staff. New and modern equipment was part of the overall infirmary refurbishment. The external visitor access was improved with the introduction of an access bridge to provide a secure and private access to the Infirmary spaces.

The Cloister and Communal Spaces

The cloister space is central to the daily life and activity of the Monastery, it performs an important function in physically connecting the spaces of the Monastery with the Abbey Church, as well as being the present point of entry from the north. The east door of the cloister to the Church porch is deliberately glazed, this is a “window” for the public into the daily life of the Monastery. Amongst its many functions, the cloister is used by the community to gather and robe prior to procession into the Church. Despite the potential for the Cloister to be a busy thoroughfare and “hub” of the Monastery, its character needs to be one of calm quiet reflection and the ambience warm and welcoming.

The grand proportions of the space, together with the north light traceried windows can be made more intimate and articulated with carefully designed artificial lighting, the “cold” terrazzo flooring could be replaced with a visually more warming material.

The ground floor suite of communal spaces that are on the south side of the cloister include the present Calefactory, the Communications Room, the Vesting Room and a Novitiate Meeting Room. The character of these spaces has been much improved to enhance the facilities and use of the spaces. The finest room within the ground floor suite of communal spaces is the former Calefactory, now the Communications Room. It is handsomely timber panelled with a bold stone fireplace surround. The room has been sensitively altered with the insertion of the “computers” mezzanine gallery.

Energy efficiency

The energy efficiency of the building was known to be very poor, considerable amounts of energy being put into the building through its archaic heating systems and a lot of energy lost through poor insulation, single glazing and air leaks as well as inefficient services. The scope of works included complete new and efficient heating and lighting installations together with improving the thermal quality of the bulding with insulated dry lining, roof insulation and new windows and secondary glazing.


Where reasonable, the opportunity to improve the safe accessibility of the Monastery for the community’s use should be taken. The Monastery is likely to continue to have a high number of ageing Monks, where easy mobility and access to the monastic spaces is a need that can be addressed.


As the home of the community any improvements and refurbishment should be of an appropriate character conducive to its life. The Monastery buildings and spaces, together with the community, need to be an attractive place for those interested and seeking to join the community. It should therefore be warm and welcoming, there should be an appropriate simplicity without it being Spartan, the facilities and private rooms should be comfortable and of a modern standard.

Approximate Contract Value






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