Higher Mills Buckfast Abbey

Client: Buckfast Abbey Trustees
Michelmores Awards 2018 • Winner: Heritage Project of the Year

Higher Mill was constructed in the 18th Century as a mill factory and warehouse together with mill cottages on the site of an existing mill that has origins dating back to the 13th Century. The complex has been used for a variety of industrial and storage purposes before the Buckfast Abbey Trust, in 1987, acquired it and restored it for storage purposes.

The group of buildings is located high on the western boundary, overlooking the Abbey Estate. It is an imposing and attractive composition set within a mature landscape including a pond and launder, an unusual and historically important feature of the complex.

This proposal brings the buildings back into use as flexible workspace. It respects, and is informed by, the importance of the setting and the integrity of the architecture of the existing buildings. Contemporary interventions are introduced as a delicate counterpoint to the significant heritage asset, allowing the original structures and remains of the industrial machinery to be incorporated and readily appreciated.