The Judge’s Lodging Hotel – York City Centre
Daniel Thwaites Plc
York (Central Conservation Area)
The Judge’s Lodging is a Grade I listed Georgian townhouse built in 1710 as a private home before becoming the official residence of the Assize Court Judges.
Supporting Daniel Thwaites from the project’s inception, Bowman Riley helped with the due diligence process prior to the hotel’s purchase by preparing designs to liaise with English Heritage, local authority conservation and historic building specialists, York Civic Society and Georgian Society.
Working with the heritage specialists, we designed the redevelopment of the property, which involved re-planning the flow of the building and demolition of 20th century ad-hoc extensions.
Specific challenges involved the co-ordination of demolition and building works without disturbing medieval human skeletal remains in the historic graveyard (in the rear hotel courtyard) or the Roman defences below the front courtyard.
We introduced a new main entrance directly into the bar and restaurant, new first-floor Cask Bar, new kitchen and new build courtyard bedrooms. As part of the atmospheric Cellar Bar, we designed a stunning glass box, where visitors can dine and get a feel of the outside inside and a new sun terrace for al fresco drinks and dining.
Since the relaunch of The Judge’s Lodging Hotel, it has become one of Thwaites’ prestigious Inns of Character, it has also been awarded a 5 star AA Inn Award, Best Small Commercial Building at the LABC Awards and was shortlisted for Constructing Excellence Yorkshire & Humber Awards 2015 in the category of Heritage.
“…thank you for all the hard work that you and the team have put into The Judges’ Lodgings… seeing it complete I have to say that you have done an amazing job of addressing the issues and flow within the building and creating a stunning contrast between the new and old at the rear of the property. We are all absolutely delighted and very proud of what has been achieved by all involved.” – Rick Bailey CEO, Thwaites Brewery
“The Judges Lodging is a magnificent Building of the early 18th C with some exceptionally fine interiors. Thwaites and their design team are to be warmly congratulated for this very ambitious, wholesale development of the entire site – that combines comprehensive restoration of the historic fabric and interiors with an ingenious and delightful reworking of the rear courtyard – to provide outdoor eating areas and additional bedroom suites. It is very gratifying to see a important but very vulnerable historic building being given a new lease of life by a commercial enterprise – rather than having to turn for its survival to charity or public funds.” – York Design Awards
” It’s difficult to believe, looking back to the start of the project, but before Thwaites bought the Judges Lodging, it was a hotel that was struggling to survive.
Thwaites’ design brief was straight forward, “create the best Inn within York’s historic city centre” and to be fair, they let us have the time we needed to really get to know the building. Not just it’s structure, with its unique features and twists and turns, but it’s historic significance, set directly between a Roman fortification and the graveyard of pre-Norman St Wilfrid’s Church, with its large quantities of human skeletons to be retained intact. The entire site was of understandable interest to Historic England, York’s Conservation and Heritage officers, plus the city’s Georgian Society. There was a lot of enthusiasm to bring this Grade I Listed building back to life, but it needed doing in a measured and controlled manner.
The first stage was to make the building watertight and undertake repairs to the vulnerable structure. We were then able to explore how we might change the internal circulation of the building, by creating a new main entrance into the bar. During this period we struck lucky, by finding and then opening up, a previously hidden staircase that linked the two main public floors.
The rear of the building saw the most significant change, with us securing consent to demolish a number of recent extensions and out-buildings, to be replaced by dual level external terraces and five contemporary bedroom suites. Inside, the building was completely transformed with the restoration of period staircases, timber panelling and the bold use of period colours and vibrant modern fabrics. All of the dated mechanical and electrical systems were renewed throughout, to ensure full statutory compliance and meet the expectations of a worldwide customer group.
It’s fantastic to see a wonderful building restored and brought right back up to date, commercially earning its keep in a very competitive market place. It’s a great example of how an historic building can be opened to the public, whether that’s for tea and cakes, or a few nights in the comfort of an antique four-posted bed, with views over York Minster.”
John Coultas, Director Bowman Riley
View more of our hotel and restaurant experience here