Priory Row Coventry

The Lychgate cottages in Coventry’s city centre are three timber-framed properties dating back to around 1415. The building’s location and date indicate that it originally formed part of the precinct of the 12th century St Mary’s Priory, and is the only upstanding building which survives from the priory complex.

Project Summary

A perfect example of a timber-framed building of the early 15th century, with  its close-studded timbers and jettied floor reflecting its status as a good quality medieval urban building. The principal timbers throughout show little evidence of re-use and demonstrate that the original structure survives well, following ‘tree ring dating research’ which showed its early date – the building has been recently upgraded to Grade II* listed.

Messenger was awarded the contract to sensitively refurbish these existing dwellings into five holiday properties for the Historic Coventry Trust. The emphasis from the start was on achieving ‘high quality’ interiors within these historically important structures. Completely new electrical and mechanical installations were designed and incorporated into these delicate structures, along with new joinery elements, kitchens and bathrooms. Every element of design and installation had to be sympathetic to working with and complementing the existing natural and minimal interiors.

Many challenges were faced with the construction, not least working in a city centre environment with no external space or compound area.

Passive Fire Protection elements:

  • Fire doors
  • Fire penetration
  • Fire mist system installed in a number of flats


Historic Coventry Trust


Vagdia and Holmes Chartered Architects


52 weeks


August 2021