Set in a breathtaking location amongst the Cathedral Precincts of Canterbury, Kings School is one of the country’s leading co-educational boarding Schools.

The oldest school in England the Kings School campus is set within the Canterbury World Heritage Site arranged across two main areas falling within the immediately adjacent to Canterbury Cathedral and St Augustine’s Abbey respectively. Therefore, many of the projects we have been involved with over the years have required a sophisticated knowledge of historic building conservation as well as an understanding of how best to manage change without adversely affecting heritage significance. All these projects have therefore included very detailed negotiations with LPA Conservation Officers, Historic England and the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) before many of the consents could be secured.

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Clague have provided architectural and heritage consultancy services to The Kings School on a range of project types over more than two decades, four of which are illustrated here.

At the Edred Wright Music School a modest extension forming a new vertical circulation core lit by structural glass that provides access to a recording studio, control room, the Peter Stone orchestral room, a listening room, a suite of 14 teaching or practice rooms, three large teaching rooms and a song school. The careful use of new Caen stone and knapped flint allows the extension to sit discreetly even though it is immediately adjacent to the historic Mint Yard Gate where it blends seamlessly into this corner at the heart of medieval Canterbury. A study of the building design was featured in the Architects Journal in 2009.

At the Undercroft Dining Hall an underused lower ground level area was re-imagined into a dramatic 120 seat dining place for students and staff, with a new lighting scheme incorporated which illuminates the handsome geometry of the historic stone groin vaulted ceiling.

The new buildings we have designed on the campus include Harvey House which is an Arts & Crafts inspired Girls Boarding House Harvey located on the campus boundary and incorporating Mount Pleasant Cottage at its west end. Rooms have a view of Canterbury Christ Church University on one side and the St Augustine’s Abbey ruins on the other. The building has an asymmetrical and picturesque composition and displays a high level of detailed design & craftmanship in its stonework, brick and knapped flint helping it to blend into the ancient setting.

The New Grange meanwhile is a new-build Boys Boarding house whose two and a half storey gabled form is situated immediately adjacent to the ruins of St Augustines Abbey. The New Grange  was opened in 2007 by former Kings School student and celebrated author and adventurer Sir Patrick Leigh Fermor DSC OBE OKS.


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