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Thornbury Castle, South Gloucestershire

Thornbury Castle in South Gloucestershire was the grand vision of Edward Stafford, third Duke of Buckingham, but was left incomplete after his execution for treason in 1521. However enough remains of the grand castellated building and inner and outer courts and privy garden to make it one of the most important domestic buildings in early 16th century England.

The castle is now home to a luxury hotel which enjoys the grandeur of the original building but is limited in scale. The original kitchen area of the castle is marred by 20th century additions and services as well as random car parking. The owner plans to upgrade by building a contemporary bedroom wing and spa and restoring part of the ruins as a function suite.

Novell Tullett is working on the landscape masterplan which involves improving vehicle and pedestrian routes around the site, designing a contemporary garden in the former kitchen court to unite the new and existing buildings, and a new car park outside the main walls. There is also an opportunity to remove inappropriate planting with more suitable hedges and shrubs. The remaining ruins will be made safe to allow guests to explore their romantic setting.

The challenges included working within the setting of a Grade 1 listed landscape with a Scheduled Ancient Monument within a Conservation Area.