Bishop Thornton Presbytery

Project Description

Conservation works on the Grade II Listed, oldest surviving purpose-built church still in use in the Diocese of Leeds have been completed. The presbytery at St Josephs of Bishop Thornton was built first, about the time of the Catholic Relief Act of 1791, with the attached church being constructed some 20 years later. The building is of particular interest for it’s age ad historical associations as well as it’s character and ambience.

RDF were initially contacted by Pearce Bottomley Architects, who specialise in the renovation & restoration of historic buildings, to take on the replacement of the windows.

With the age of the building you would, of course, expect that there would be some aspects of dilapidation. The windows were extremely old so were crumbling, with hinges rusted and paint flaking allowing the elements to breech the building. The decision to fully replace the windows with new timber casement windows was agreed by the Diocese, planning and the architects, so that the aesthetics of the building could be restored.

The windows were manufactured by RDF with conservation double glazed units which had a narrow siture and were pre-finished using the Teknos paint system. Stonework repairs were also carefully undertaken as well as the replacement of poorly completed cement pointing which was replaced with a lime mortar, regaining the strength and stability of the walls.

Once the original works were complete and those at St Josephs were happy, RDF were contacted directly by the diocese to look to complete works to the existing porch. Our surveyors worked closely with the local conservation officer to create detailed drawings of the proposed works so that the project could begin. The porch was replaced with a new door and woodwork as, like the windows, the existing door and porch had begun to crumble away due to the rot. The roof was re-tiled, the damaged rainwater goods replaced and a new porch manufactured & installed.

We have since returned to the property, upon the request of the diocese, to replace further windows and complete other conservation works. Our work on this property, and the repeat business form the diocese, reflects the high quality of work that we deliver, our professionalism and our knowledge when working on listed or heritage sites – something which we are very proud of.


“RDF did a commendable job in replacing and consolidating original timber sash windows at Bishop Thorton Presbitory.” – Stefanie Stead BA (Hons) MArch RIBA, Architect – CIC Yorkshire & Humber Chair

Project Details

November 7th, 2017
Conservation, Ecclesiastical

Project Skills

  • bespoke
  • Bespoke Joinery
  • Church
  • conservation
  • Diocese
  • Diocese of Leeds
  • ecclesiastical
  • Grade II
  • heritage
  • joinery
  • listed building
  • Partnership
  • Porch
  • Presbytery
  • Refurbishment
  • Regeneration
  • renovation
  • Restoration
  • Specialist
  • specialist stonework
  • St Josephs
  • Windows


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