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Stanbrook Abbey, North Yorkshire

Client: Abbey Limited

Location: North Yorkshire

Cost: Undisclosed

Area: N/A

Project Type: Heritage & Culture

North Yorkshire is rich in ecclesiastical architecture, with magnificent abbeys and minsters gracing the countryside. Many are in ruins, which seems to help them melt into their setting, but nobody has built a new monastery since the North York Moors were designated as a National Park. This ‘once in several lifetimes’ opportunity recently came the way of the practice and Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios. Stanbrook Abbey is the new home for the Conventus of Our Lady of Consolation, a Benedictine community of nuns who devote their lives to study, work and prayer. Relocating from their old Victorian home in Worcestershire, the nuns’ contemplative way of life required spaces that were simple, tranquil and beautiful, or as they put it in their monastic vision brief – a place where they could ‘pray always’.

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The sisters now occupy a breath-taking position high on Wass Bank with the whole Plain of York to gaze on from their cells, whilst sheep continue to graze sublimely unaware of their new setting. Winning a Civic Trust Award 2010 the community continues to expand and has been recently extended the new Community Church and Chapel, the Chapter House and guest spaces.