Our story

Founded in 1947, we've become leaders in architecture, heritage and masterplanning.

Donovan Purcell, Cambridge Stone, 1967

Purcell started life in the 1940s as an architectural practice founded by conservation expert Donovan Purcell. After many years restoring churches and army buildings in East Anglia, Purcell was appointed as Surveyor to the Fabric of Ely Cathedral in 1960. We have continued to work at Ely to this day, but now take Purcell’s ethos for excellent conservation architecture all over the world.

Manchester Town Hall

Partnering with architect Peter Miller and graphic designer William “Bill” Tritton in 1965, we developed a strong core of architecture, heritage consultancy and masterplanning. This has evolved into working in sectors as varied as public, residential and culture. The thread that ties our projects together is bringing contemporary design solutions to historic environments.

Clifton Cathedral, Bristol

An award winning architectural and heritage consultancy practice, we employ a talented workforce of 250 people across the UK and around the world. We have now grown to have UK studios in Bristol, Cambridge, Canterbury, Cardiff, Colchester, London, Manchester, Norwich, Oxford, York and Leeds, and overseas in Hong Kong, Melbourne, Sydney and Hobart.

Leighton House, London

With our strong commitment to quality, we collaborate on many of the most significant buildings in the UK and Asia Pacific. We provide sensitive restoration and repair schemes and bold contemporary design in historic contexts. Today, Purcell is one of the world’s leading design practices with over 70 years of experience, proudly creating sustainable places for tomorrow.