The Canons’ Cloister, Windsor
The Canons’ Cloister is a range of oak framed buildings that was built for the resident canons of St George’s Chapel around 1350 on the site of former Royal apartments. They remain residences for the canons to this day and so are unique as the earliest surviving collegiate range in Britain still remaining in its original use. The cloister is also one of the earliest surviving parts of Windsor Castle.
During 2011-12, a major programme of restoration was undertaken in accordance with the strategic plan that Graham devised for the Dean and Canons. The defective copper roofs, which were laid in the 1950s, were replaced with sand cast lead, and gutters were improved to better dispose of rainwater. Hard cementitious render was replaced with lime based render, which was limewashed. Brick and stone repairs were carried out, particularly to chimneys, while sensitive repairs were skilfully completed to areas where the oak frame had deteriorated.
Sound principles of conservation were employed throughout: to retain as much historic fabric as possible and to do nothing that was not easily reversible. The cloister buildings are a Scheduled Ancient Monument, so work was carried out in close liaison with English Heritage (now Historic England) and was recorded by an archaeologist, who later gave a lecture to significant conservation specialists to demonstrate his findings.
Graham arranged for tours of the work in progress to demonstrate the craftsmanship to conservation students and interested groups, such as the SPAB. He also worked closely with the principal contractor, encouraging and supporting him in the development of his skills so that he could manage the various craftsmen efficiently.
The result was simply outstanding, a fact recognised by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) in 2013.
- 2013 RICS South East Region Runner Up for ‘Project of the Year’
- 2013 RICS South East Region Winner of the ‘Building Conservation’ category