London-based architectural design practice, Claridge Architects, has completed the £4m refurbishment of the impressive Wood Norton Hall in Evesham, Worcestershire. The four-star boutique hotel – which is part of the Bespoke Hotel Group – comprises 50 rooms across the Grade II Listed manor house and outbuildings.
The historic hotel is set within 4000 acres of natural landscape in the Vale of Evesham, near the Malvern Hills in Worcestershire. The Hall, Pear Tree Mews and Smith’s House buildings have been brought back to life with an extensive programme of architectural and interior works. The property’s original Edwardian features have been sensitively restored in combination with modern insertions and high-quality interior design.
Built as a hunting lodge for the exiled French Duc d’Aumale in 1897, the estate was eventually sold to the BBC during World War II and subsequently used as a monitoring base, broadcasting centre and Doctor Who film set until the corporation converted it to a hotel in 1995. The main hall has suffered many alterations over time, and its upper floors were destroyed by fire during the war.
The Hall features reception rooms, bar, British fine-dining restaurant, outdoor terrace and function rooms, with eight luxury suites on the first floor and 12 double rooms on the second floor. Pear Tree Mews – formerly a stable block and coach house – has been converted into a more contemporary collection of 30 rooms set around a cobbled courtyard. Smith’s House provides business and conference function rooms for the estate.
Working in collaboration with interior designer, Sean Vassen, Claridge Architects has realised a carefully conceived refurbishment, reviving the historic interior of the Hall in balance with an elegant, calm and modern architectural design for the newly-installed elements. The oak panelling – originally installed by the French royal family – has been respectfully restored, while new insertions, such as the pewter-topped bar and glazed bathroom pods, provide more contemporary textures, colour, materiality and vibrancy.
The Hall sits within English Heritage-Listed landscaped gardens, which were redesigned by Peter Baldock and Tom Marsh at English Heritage Gardens, to reflect the classical ideals of order and beauty from the Renaissance gardens of the late 15th century.