AHP has undertaken listing assessments of three Roman Catholic dioceses for Historic England, taking forward the recommendations in the Taking Stock reports for the Archdiocese of Southwark, the Diocese of Brentwood and the Diocese of Arundel & Brighton. In consultation with Historic England, our assessments of 24 buildings resulted in the listing of three and the upgrading of two buildings in Southwark, the listing of four buildings in Brentwood and the listing of three churches in Arundel & Brighton. Historic England have described our work as ‘an exemplar for future projects by drawing on external expert advice and speeding up designation assessments’. For further information, please see pages 77 and 78 of Historic England's Designation Yearbook 2014-15.
Following on from Taking Stock, AHP has applied successfully for the upgrading of a number of Catholic churches, which in some cases has been the key to unlocking access to repair grants. The photograph (by Alex Ramsay) shows a detail from a memorial stained glass window to the Countess of Clare by Philip Westlake at St Mary's church, Ryde, on the Isle of Wight. The Countess paid for the construction of the church, which was built in 1844-5 from designs by Joseph Hansom. Together with the contemporary presbytery and later convent buildings, it occupies a prominent position in the local conservation area, which is receiving investment from Historic England and the local planning authority under a High Street Heritage Action Zone. AHP's report secured the upgrading of the church, presbytery and part of the convent to II*. As well as being justified on account of the buildings' architectural and historical merits, it is hoped that the upgrading will help secure additional funding for their repair and restoration.