Prior Park, Bath, was built in 1740 for Ralph Allen to the designs of John Wood the Elder. Described by Pevsner as ‘the most ambitious and the most complete recreation of Palladio’s villas on English soil’, it is the home of the independent Prior Park College and is Grade I Listed.
In August 1991 the mansion was ravaged by fire. The entire roof and much of the interior structure were destroyed, including a substantial amount of fine joinery and plasterwork. ‘Painstaking research, excellent job planning and determination to return this badly fire-damaged building to educational use within very stringent financial and time constraints have resulted in the highest levels of excellence in conservation’ (RICS awards citation)