Conservation architecture opens up historic church

Conservation architectural design at Meifod Church, Powys, by Hughes Architects

It’s not just modern architectural designs we work on. One area we specialise in is conservation architecture that often involves Grade I and II listed buildings.

These can be residential or commercial and, in many cases, have involved churches.

One such project was St Tysilio and St Mary’s Church at Meifod, near Welshpool, Powys.

A church with its roots dating back nearly 1,500 years to one of the original Princes of Powys was wanted to increase community use through an expanded community coffee shop and improved accessibility

Sensitive designs

Hughes Architects worked with the church and Rev Jane James to create a new area within the Grade I listed structure to broaden its reach.

The original church was built on the site in 550AD by, although it was in 1154 when Madoc ab Meredydd, the Prince of Powys, constructed a new church, with the current structure dating back to 1500AD and a new aisle added in 1838.

“It was an interesting project with an objective of creating more community space and enhancing the worshippers experience,” said Doug Hughes, managing director and principal architect at Hughes Architects.

“The history of the church and its Grade I listed status meant any work had to be carefully and sensitively integrated. We worked closely with the Diocese and Welsh Government ancient monuments body CADW to ensure everything is done in keeping with the structure.”

Glass and oak screening

The work included screening off part of the church with an oak and glass screen between arches and introducing heating and sympathetic lighting to create a smaller and more manageable space for worship and community events, particularly in the winter months.

A new disabled access ramp was also introduced along with other work to improve access.

The new facilities have allowed the church to extend the opening times of a coffee shop it currently opens within the church.

Rev James said it was important for the church to develop new opportunities that integrated with the local community and parishioners.

Rev James said: “We are at the heart of the local community and we need to reach out to everyone within it, from the parishioners who worship here to those living and working around us.

“Through the carefully thought out plans and sensitive changes we will be able to enhance the facilities we have to the whole community, providing a hub for activities.”

Hughes Architects, which has offices in Welshpool, Newtown and Aberystwyth, is experienced at working with listed buildings as well as residential, commercial and industrial properties.

Call 01686 610311 or email enquiries@hughesarchitects.co.uk to talk about your building design or planning requirements. We offer a free initial consultation.

Conservation architectural design at Meifod Church, Powys, by Hughes Architects Conservation architectural design at Meifod Church, Powys, by Hughes Architects