The Great Hospital was founded in 1249 between the River Wensum and Norwich Cathedral and is one of England’s oldest hospitals, now serving as a retirement home to the elderly. The site comprises a complex of buildings including many of significant historic interest from medieval examples and is considered to be one of Norwich’s 12 heritage sites.
We have provided civil and structural services and associated flood risk assessments on this site for over 15 years supporting the ongoing maintenance and development of the site. This includes several updates to the residential facilities including construction of new Suffield Court residential block fronting the river, extension to Prior Court building, removal of the Holmes Cottages terrace and replacement with a new two storey residential block. This latest development successfully blends traditional construction and materials with strong architectural features and contemporary finishes.
Our involvement also included the new Community Centre which abuts the medieval cloisters over the presumed location of the original chapter house. Due to the archaeologically rich nature of the soils, proximity to the historic cloisters and access issues we specified the use of screw auger piles. These cause minimal displacement of the sub-soil, can be installed with little or no disturbance or vibration and have the benefit that they can be removed in the future without disturbing the surrounding soil and archaeology.
Improvement works to the medieval cloister wall were undertaken in collaboration with English Heritage and the LA conservation officer. Use of traditional flint and lime were employed whilst harnessing modern stainless steel helibars to strengthen where deemed vulnerable.