26 April 2022

New Case Study: The Alice Hawthorn

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The Alice Hawthorn is a Grade II listed, 18th Century pub in Nun Monkton, a Yorkshire village which in medieval times was an important hub in the river transport network of northern England. In those days travellers stopped overnight in the village pubs but as the strategic importance of the village declined, they closed one by one. The Alice Hawthorn, Nun Monkton’s last remaining pub, has long been a focal meeting point for the village community but faced an uncertain future until it was recently purchased by a local couple, keen to save what they considered to be ‘the beating heart of the village’.


Working with the local community, the architect De Matos Ryan has revitalised the pub, refurbishing the interior to provide four en-suite guest bedrooms on the first floor and an improved bar and restaurant on the ground floor. At the rear of the pub are a simple group of four new timber-framed buildings – Field Barn, Tack Room, Stables and Sheds – housing eight generous en-suite guest bedrooms.


The group creates an informal enclosure around the new pub garden, reflecting the character of traditional farmstead layouts around the village and using similar building materials – frames of home-grown Douglas fir together with sinusoidal galvanised steel roofing and larch cladding. Like traditional barns and sheds, these materials are used to express a complete honesty about their construction, as the architect Angus Morrogh-Ryan explains: ’We wanted to produce a building that spoke of its elemental nature rather than the usual sophistry of layering fabric over structure, so that the way it is built is the way it looks’. The Douglas fir structure is visible on both the inside and outside of the buildings, with internal walls lined with plywood panels to create warm and tactile interiors.