Great British Buildings: Restoration of the Year

Kevin McCloud and Dr Anna Keay look at the most incredible restorations of historic buildings. From palaces to watermills, department stores to music halls, they unfold nine centuries of our history told through treasured places that have been brought back from the brink. These are bold interventions, demanding great craft skills, enormous dedication and budgets that run into millions, largely raised by us, the public. All projects the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) have placed on the long list for their Restoration of the Year award. 

 This first episode flings wide open the doors, windows and shutters of restoration projects on Georgian buildings: in Cambridgeshire there’s a watermill brought back from the dead, in Lyme Regis an original seaside villa, in Northumberland a piece of superb Georgian innovation; a curvilinear greenhouse and in Cardigan, Wales, the saving of a great castle and the exquisite Georgian house at its heart. 

We also explore the restorations of Talbot Yard Food Court and The Coach House at Middleton Lodge both in Yorkshire, and Claife Viewing Station in Ambleside.

Alongside Kevin and Anna, Historic Building Surveyor Marianne Suhr and Architectural Historian Dr Jonathan Foyle uncover the stories behind each extraordinary project. At the end of the episode Kevin and Anna hear which building the RICS judges have placed onto the short list for the ultimate title of ‘Restoration of the Year’.  

Showing Thursday 23rd March at 8pm on Channel 4

You can find out more about the project at Claife Viewing Station here: