Refurbishment plans for grade II-listed guest house on Caldey Island submitted to Pembrokeshire National Park planners

PLANS for further works at a Grade II-listed guest house on Caldey Island have been submitted to Pembrokeshire national park planners.

The application, by Superior Ad Nutum Jan Rossey of Caldey Abbey, seeks the internal refurbishment work to a modern wing of St Philomena’s Retreat, including an electrical rewire and new heating and plumbing services installation, along with the installation of solar panels on south-facing concrete tile roofs.

Approval was granted earlier this year for the first stage of refurbishment works to the main building, the latest listed building consent application relating to the modern extension wing.

Agent David J P Morgan RIBA Architect, in a heritage statement, says the guesthouse was the first building built by the Anglican Benedictine community led by Aelred Carlyle after the purchase of the island in 1906.

It was designed by Brother Jerome, one of the community, who as J C Hawes had trained as an architect, but was completed in 1907 by J Coates Carter, as his first job on taking over as architect to the community.

The house and rooms have been empty and unused for a number of years. It was last used as a retreat for guests who visit and stay on the island. It is not run as a profit-making guest house.

The Caldey Estate has charity status and is non-profit making. It receives guests who wish to visit and experience the restfulness and peace of the island.

The statement adds: “It has been decided to continue with the refurbishment of, not only the rooms in the lower west wing of the building but also the rooms in the modern wing. It has also become apparent that there is a great opportunity to adopt a more sustainable solution to reduce energy costs by installing a solar panel system to provide a sustainable heating and hot water system.

“The internal alterations are minor works there will be very little impact on the building and these proposed works have no impact on the original part of St Philomena’s.”

The application will be considered by Pembrokeshire Coast National Park planners at a later date.

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