Cardigan Castle has won Channel 4's Great British Buildings: Restoration of the Year, presented by Kevin McCloud and Dr Anna Keay on Channel 4. Winning the Georgian building category in the first episode of the programme, the scheme went on to win the overall Restoration of the Year title in the final episode, which aired on 13th April.
Cardigan Castle comprises medieval buildings and walls with a 19th century Regency addition known as Castle Green House. It fell into decline and eventually dereliction, despite the castle’s designation as a Scheduled Ancient Monument and with six Grade II* listed buildings within its walls.
Completing in summer 2015, the £12.5m project involved the repair, conservation and upgrading of the six listed buildings, reinstating the Regency gardens and repairing the castle’s curtain walls. Inside the fully restored Castle Green House, original features such as chinoiserie wallpaper and ornate plastering details have been recreated.
Alongside the restoration, a contemporary building has been added which is home to a restaurant and catering facilities. Purcell’s design for the restaurant cantilevers out above the castle walls. Its large glazed elevations show off views of the river and its transparency minimises the impact of the new building on the site.
The show’s judges, who are members of RICS, praised the Castle’s transformation “from eyesore to landmark”. They noted that the project was a “fine example” of before and after.
Two other Purcell projects were featured on the show; Sacrewell Watermill in episode one and Base Court at Hampton Court Palace in episode three, which was also shortlisted for the overall Restoration of the Year.