The building passed into the ownership of DTC in 2003, and is currently on Historic England’s Heritage At Risk register, primarily relating to the deterioration of the stonework in the Undercroft/vault. It is anticipated that work to Priory House undertaken as part of the HSHAZ will allow for its removal from the At Risk register. The project, led by The Morton Partnership will develop proposals to repair the vaults and adapt the building environment to conserve the historic fabric for the future.
Priory House is a Grade II* Listed Building (List Entry Number 1114593)
The listing description describes Priory House as:
“C18, cement rendered C19. Mansard Welsh slate roof. 2 storeys and attics. 4 round-headed windows with archivolts and keyblocks. Door surround of architrave, consoles and pediment. Parapet. Original garden front of good design. Red brick, stone dressings and in-and-out quoins. Ground floor windows in architraves, let floor windows in eared archivolts. Pedimented Roman Doric doorway. Molded cornice, parapet with stone coping. Pedimented slight central projection. On site of Priory Guesthouse. Reputed to contain C13 vaulted room.”
The Morton Partnership are leading the work on Priory House. A number of specialists are involved including: Tobit Curtis Associates, Weldon Stone, Philip Waller Consulting, Odgers Conservation, Clarkes Quarry, HB Archaeology and Conservation Limited, Caroe Architecture, Messenger BCR and Cliveden Conservation.
For more information about Priory House follow/ join the Priory House Conservation and Restoration group on Facebook www.facebook.com/groups/320591406397190
Latest update – October 2022
We have appointed the contractor Messenger BCR, with works having started on 12 September 2022.
The cost of the works has come in at £986,752
These costs will be covered as follows:
£540,000 – Dunstable Town Council (£215,000 from a Public Works Board Loan)
£446,752 – High Street Heritage Action Zone Grant (Historic England)
Priory House is still operating despite the Undercroft being closed. Additional seating is now available in the shop with larger groups being encourage to book out the Jacobean Room. Functions and weddings are still available and with the works not taking places at weekends there are times when we can guarantee no noise from the works.
Works are currently on schedule with a completion date of June 2023.