JUDGES of a local contest to showcase the best buildings the borough has to offer decided to hand the top gong to the firm behind the stunning restoration of the Bentley Priory mansion.

City and Country converted the Grade II* Listed property in Stanmore and neighbouring buildings into luxury flats and prepared part of the house for occupation by the new Bentley Priory Museum to commemorate the Battle of Britain, and brought the Italianate gardens back to their full glory.

The company picked up the overall title at Harrow Heritage Trust and Harrow Observer Architectural and Environmental Awards prizegiving held at Harrow Civic Centre in Station Road, Harrow, on Tuesday and conducted by the Mayor of Harrow Nana Asante.

See the commended, highly commended and winners:

 

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Kate Parker, who is assistant to City and Country’s managing director and who collected the award with conservation architect Ian Dieffenthaller, said: “We’re really proud and it’s inspiring that is a local award from a local heritage trust.

“Bentley Priory is a beautiful historic building. It has so much history to it and it means so much to so many people.”

The Bobby Feakins Shield for Environmental Improvement - originally donated by a former Mayor of Harrow with an interest in nature - went to Welldon Park Infant and Nursery School in Kingsley Road, South Harrow, for its new nature trail.

Headteacher Tricia Serby said: “We have always wanted to do something like this in the grounds.

“Landscape architect Paul Nicolaides contacted the school and we asked him to come and have a look and he was full of ideas.

“The trail starts off with a performing arts area, and a wildflower meadow, and a quite area, and bird hide,”

It tooks six months of planning and six weeks of work to revamp the grass and brambles into a usable space for children and staff.

“The pupils love it,” Ms Serby said. “They can go out during playtime.

“We want then to be much more aware of the birds and creatures, and they like looking for the mini beats.”

This year’s awards - run as ever in conjunction with Harrow Council - were the seventh edition of the biennial competition and there were two commendations and four highly commended schemes.

Judging the entries on May 15 were awards convener, Harrow Heritage Trust member and retired architect Baj Mathur; retired architect Gabi Otvos; chairman of Harrow Heritage Trust, Martin Verden; Harrow Council’s principal conservation officer Lucy Haile; Conservative councillor and former cabinet member for culture Manji Kara, and Labour councillor and former cabinet member for planning Keith Ferry.

LIST OF WINNERS

Commendation

n John Lyon School, Thomas Blackwell Sixth Form Centre, Middle Road, Harrow on the Hill: restoration and refurbishment of original house to its original teaching usage

n Elmgrove Primary School, Kenmore Avenue, Harrow: new front reception and admin block

Highly Commended

n The Hive, Camrose Avenue, Edgware: a multi purpose venue for the community

n Bentley Priory Museum, Mansion House Drive, Stanmore: conversion and restoration works for the museum

n Boxtree Affordable Housing Scheme, junction of Boxtree Lane and Hutton Lane: block of 10 affordable flats

n Cedars Youth and Community Centre, Chicheley Road, Harrow Weald: community centre

Winner

n Bentley Priory, Mansion House Drive, Stanmore: luxury houses and duplexes and restoration of Italianate gardens

Bobby Feakins Shield

n Welldon Park Infant and Nursery School, Kingsley Road, South Harrow: nature trail