Conservation students begin work on the Conservation Plan for St. Andrew’s Chapel, near Boxley Abbey in Maidstone

The students of the module ‘Intervention at Historic Sites’ (ARCH8430) visited the ‘Old House Project’ of the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings. Currently being refurbished by the Society, St. Andrew’s Chapel has a varied and rich history: probably built in the 15th century, the original chapel was transformed to a house after the Dissolution of the Monasteries. The ‘Chapel’ is currently a patchwork of different phases of construction, including a 1900s timber-frame extension that transformed the house to a Post Office, prior to its abandonment in the second half of the 20th century. This site provides a unique opportunity to engage with a wide range of architectural forms and methods of construction.  Our students are currently preparing a Conservation Plan that will help to infuse new life into the building. Their work started with a guided site visit to the chapel and its vicinity, which included the medieval ‘Hospitium’ of Boxley Abbey. Despite the cold January weather, the students were fascinated by the site’s incredible Medieval and Early Modern buildings and the opportunity to meet the expert technicians of the SPAB currently working on their preservation.

Jonnathan Garlick (SPAB), left, showing the repairs of the SPAB on the east wall of the former chapel to the students of the MSc in Architectural Conservation