The Grade II listed, 18th Century Alice Hawthorn Inn has been a historic focal-point for the community in the medieval Yorkshire village of Nun Monkton for centuries. Once an important transport junction at the rivers Ouse and Nidd, the village had slowly lost its pubs one-by-one as its strategic significance waned. The Alice Hawthorn is the last remaining Nun Monkton pub, and it faced an uncertain future until it was recently purchased by new owners. Working with architects De Matos Ryan, Price & Myers helped revitalise the pub, converting it to an inn with accommodation and an improved restaurant that has assured its survival for generations to come.
As well as refurbished rooms in the original listed building, further financial resilience is provided with the addition of four new one- and two-storey hotel accommodation pavilions behind the refurbished inn, with exposed timber throughout.
The four new buildings are framed in sustainably sourced, UK-grown Douglas Fir and arranged around a courtyard which provides a new lawn and pub garden for the community’s enjoyment. Extensive consultations were held throughout the design process to create a scheme that accommodates the community’s needs and ambitions.
The exposed timber structure was developed through careful collaboration between architect, engineer, and timber frame specialist. The design reads as a series of clear, rational and buildable elements which were developed and repeated across the four different structures. The out-buildings reference agricultural infrastructure commonly found in the village, in a simple, consistent, and legible visual language.
The timber frames were prefabricated in an off-site workshop and delivered to site for erection. Internally, the new-build elements are lined in sustainably sourced Larch boarding and Poplar plywood, eliminating the need for internal plaster. Heating and hot water are delivered to the buildings by a ground-source heat pump, and high-level clerestory windows and rooflights aid natural ventilation. Insulation and airtightness, superior to that demanded by building regulations, also helped the project achieve an EPC ‘A grade’ low energy rating. The new pub garden and lawn feature a sustainable drainage system and extensive planting and habitat creation, improving biodiversity in the area.
A visit to this bucolic Yorkshire village is now more appealing, and the Alice Hawthorn is a community asset that aids in the sustainability of the community and its natural environment.