Great Barn wins National RICS Award for Best Commercial Project

The restored Great Barn at Bolton Abbey has won a prestigious national building award from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). 

Situated on a ridge overlooking the River Wharfe, and owned by the Bolton Abbey Estate, the barn was built in 1519 to store produce for Bolton Priory, with teams of oxen pulling into place the giant oak “A” frames that support its magnificent roof structure.  It is one of the largest and best preserved medieval aisled barns in England, and now a major wedding venue run by the Cripps Group, wedding barn specialists since 1990. 

The refurbished building won the Best Commercial Project from the RICS at a special ceremony at the Royal Lancaster Hotel in London last week.  This follows its success earlier this year, when it won three regional awards from the RICS as well as two from the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA). 

The transformation of the barn from a cluttered agricultural store into a magical wedding venue was described by the national RICS judges as “exemplary”.  They also praised the project team behind it, which included Pearce Bottomley Architects, Lichfields and Universal Projects, for sensitively restoring the listed structure and transforming it into arguably one of the finest wedding barn properties in the country.

“We are thrilled to win,” said Ben Heyes, Director of the Bolton Abbey Estate.  “It took five years to do all the necessary research and planning work, since the Barn is a Grade II* Listed Building and Scheduled Monument in a Conservation Area in a National Park.  We are therefore endebted to Historic England, the Yorkshire Dales National Park and the rest of the team for their help and hard work.” 

“This is great news,” added Mark Henriques, Head of Cripps.  “The barn is a magnificent building in the most stunning setting.  We are absolutely delighted to be the operator, and to make this marvellous building accessible to so many.”