The Canons’ Cloister, Windsor

The Canons’ Cloister was built around 1350 as lodgings for the canons and priests serving the Order of the Garter. The buildings continue to provide residential accommodation to the Chapel’s canons and lay clerks – making the cloister the earliest surviving collegiate range in Britain still remaining in its original use. The quadrangle of timber-framed lodgings is both Grade I listed and a Scheduled Ancient Monument.

As part of an extensive programme of conservation and repair, we replaced the existing roof in its entirety. The last major refurbishment in the 1960s had substituted lead roofs with copper sheeting, while clay tiled and slated roofs were re-roofed. Repairs were made to the roof structure using traditional techniques or introducing carefully detailed stainless steel members. Insulation, ventilation, fire protection and new maintenance access hatches were added.

An inadequate and inauthentic 1960s box gutter was replaced with a traditional eaves gutter detail, and new leadwork and cast iron gutters were decorated to match the new lead roof coverings. Rooflights were overhauled or replaced, a new lightning protection system installed, and some chimneys were repaired or rebuilt.

As well as ensuring the buildings’ future, the project revealed new knowledge about the cloister and the wider architectural history of the Chapel and Windsor Castle. The positions of long-disappeared roof statues were discovered, as well as those of lost chimneys and fireplaces, permitting a better understanding of how the cloister was originally used and inhabited.


2013 RICS Awards South East Region – Runner Up for Project of the Year

2103 RICS Awards South East Region – Winner of the Building Conservation Category