We designed a construction project on an ancient site

Project: To create 2 new steel framed office buildings on a noted site of historic interest for Jarrold Property Ltd.

We were engaged to deliver a structural design for a pair of new buildings on a site that had previously housed an ancient friary, priory and crypt.

During the excavations for the foundation piles, undiscovered parts of the monastery were also exposed, impacting the progress of the project and the site and forcing HA Consulting Engineers to reconsider the parameters of the original design work.


The key considerations whilst working with this historic site were:

  • Constantly verifying our plans with English Heritage’s conservation dept. to ensure that the integrity of the archaeological site was maintained wherever possible.
  • To adapt and find innovative solutions that permitted us to construct the new buildings whilst accommodating the historic building remains.

The new construction needed to minimise the disruption to archaeological remains on the site

Ongoing Problems

Despite an accurate plan we faced these unforeseen implementation issues

  • Additional ancient structures were uncovered during the primary excavations for the site of many of the new construction’s foundation piles.
  • English Heritage wanted to preserve these new finds and requested extensive revisions to the structural plans for the new buildings.

Further historic discoveries had to be accommodated within many design revisions

The Final Result

To achieve the final result we used these systems

  • Utilised the existing foundations from the demolished St James’s factory building as part of the new substructure design.
  • Integrated the remains of the crypt building within the office site.

The final construction preserved most of the historic remains of this site – with certain walls becoming a feature of the site

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