Tuesday 28 November 2017

Early Rock Garden?

Is this a very early surviving example of a Rock Garden, built in 1806, or is it a twentieth century mash-up?  Feedback welcomed.

Thursday 7 September 2017

The old Bishop's Palace in Chester - a green light for a wedding venue

Great news! We have helped to secure listed building consent and planning permission for the change of use of the old Bishop's Palace in Chester from offices to a Wedding Venue.  Really looking forward to seeing the wonderful interiors come to life with a sensitive scheme.

Our involvement with the building started early in 2016 when we were commissioned to undertake an appraisal to inform potential alterations.  Our detailed Statement of Significance at the start of the process has informed the current scheme and we have gone on to prepare a detailed Heritage Impact Assessment and work closely with the new owners (Sanguine), the architects (Edge), Historic England and the local authority to secure the most sensitive scheme - a great new use for this Grade II* gem, which has been vacant for some time.
See article below:

"The dog seeing its reflection" - one of Aesop's fables in the exquisite 1754 Drawing Room plasterwork
The initials of Bishop Peploe's daughter (Mary Peploe) and the family crest on a lead rainwater hopper of c.1741 - note the 'human eye shedding drops of tears' on the stag's head 

Thursday 22 June 2017

Charity Abseil - Lincoln Cathedral crossing tower (justgiving)

On July 22nd I will be the first of a troupe of volunteers abseiling 98-ft free-hanging from the vault of the Lincoln Cathedral crossing tower.  Built originally in 1240 by "master mason Alexander" the vaulted crossing will be a site to behold with its beautiful lierne vault.
This is being organised for the Nottingham Hospitals Charity, for whom I am fund-raising.  I have a high sponsorship target to reach.
You can help me raise money for this great cause by donating directly to my fundraising page - https://www.justgiving.com/Melanie-Morris2.
JustGiving sends your donation straight to Nottingham University Hospitals Charity and automatically reclaims Gift Aid if you are a UK taxpayer, so your donation is worth even more.


We have Judgment on the Kedleston setting case.  A good, clear decision about the relevance of visual considerations when assessing setting.  Visual or physical connections between a heritage asset and its setting are not essential and not determinative and Inspectors are required to provide a clear rationale and reasons if they depart from the views of statutory consultees and expert witnesses.

See this link:


Wednesday 15 March 2017

Judicial Review & The Setting of Kedleston Hall

In December 2016 local pressure group Kedleston Voice were granted permission for a Judicial Review in the High Court following Planning Inspector John Gray's assessment of the setting of Kedleston Hall and his decision to grant planning permission for 400 houses at Kedleston Road, Allestree.

Acknowledged issues of wide public importance could affect our future assessments and interpretation of the setting of heritage assets and has the potential to become important case law related to 'setting'.

The case is due to be heard on 24th and 25th May 2017 in the High Court.   Historic England will attend as an interested party.  Mel Morris acted as expert witness at the Planning Inquiry in 2016 for Amber Valley Borough Council on heritage matters and the setting of heritage assets.

Greenbank Hall wins Chester Civic Trust Award

The refurbishment of Greenbank Hall in Handbridge, Chester has been awarded a Civic Trust Award by Chester Civic Trust in the 2017 list. Mel Morris Conservation acted as conservation consultant to the project, preparing a detailed analysis of the development of the building and its setting, which informed its repair, and a Conservation Management Plan in 2015. Judges were particularly impressed with the houses built on the site, designed by Owen Ellis Architects, which were said to be 'excellent examples' of modern high quality design and construction.  A sensitive solution to providing new development within the setting of a major Georgian mansion.