Conservation and development of the most ancient standing building in Bristol.

St James Priory, dating from 1129, is Grade I Listed is today home to The St James Priory Project, a Charitable Trust that offers support and treatment for people recovering from drug and alcohol addictions. In 2004 the building was in very bad condition, the roof leaked, and Norman decorative details were being lost and the building was on the English Heritage Buildings at Risk Register.

A Heritage Lottery Fund grant was given to support essential repairs and for the development of spaces to improve the communication of the building to the public, which was a condition of the grant.

The roof repairs were a major part of the works carried out at St James Priory. The complex arrangement of roof structures date from 14th to 19th century with a range of slate pitched roofs and areas of lead and copper flat roofing. All roof coverings were failing and water ingress problems had been exacerbated in many areas partly because of the difficulty of accessing and maintaining gutters and rainwater outlets.

Roof repairs were extensive and included alterations to provide wider gutters and access ladders and larger capacity rainwater goods to cope with predicted increased future rainfall.

The final scheme includes new meeting rooms and spaces in the Victorian north aisle which can double as a green room or reception area during performances. A new glazed link to the north of the building provides circulation route outside of the Church, a ‘break-out’ space and kitchen facility. At the east end of the Church, a new café acts as a frontage onto the busy pedestrian route in the centre of Bristol.

Conservation and alteration works completed in 2011, enabling St James’ Priory’s full and proper use and securing a sustainable future.