One of Coventry’s oldest construction companies is bringing one of the city’s most ancient buildings up-to-date as works to create a new £10 million visitor attraction progress towards completion later this year.
Daly Engineering Services, which was established in 1907, has spent over two-and-a-half years on the intricate work of inserting up-to-date mechanical and engineering services at Charterhouse, off London Road.
The Grade I listed former Carthusian monastery, is being fully restored and updated by Historic Coventry Trust in partnership with Coventry City Council and the local community.
The Charterhouse is the only Carthusian monastery in the country with intact interiors, with three large wall paintings and evidence of further monastic and Elizabethan decoration uncovered during the works in many of the rooms under layers of paint and plaster.
The new visitor attraction will include interactive displays charting the site’s long history since its founding by King Richard II in 1385, as well as the relandscaping of the inner precinct as a beautiful walled garden.
Charterhouse will be the focal point of the new 70-acre Charterhouse Heritage Park along the banks of the River Sherbourne.
As part of the major restoration programme, Daly Engineering Services in Falkland Close, Tile Hill, has supplied all the hot and cold water and heating services together with internal and external lighting and power.
Managing Director Peter Hucker has been so impressed with the project that his company has made a £20,000 donation towards the on-going work at Charterhouse.
He said: “I was born in Gulson Road hospital which no longer exists and, as a company, we have existed in Coventry in various guises since 1907.
“I have known all about Charterhouse for a long time because I have attended training courses there in my earlier career so I have been in the building many times.
“It has been a really interesting project to work on because of the architectural and historical values which means there are stringent conditions to adhere to since it is Grade I listed.
“We have a great deal of experience in this area because we work throughout the UK with companies ranging from the NHS to Stanbrook Abbey in Worcestershire, another Abbey building.
“After talking to Ian Harrabin, we decided to make a sizeable contribution to the fabulous work that is going on at Charterhouse because since we are a business of over 115 years standing, it resonates with the underlying core of the project. We are really looking forward to seeing the final results.”
Ian Harrabin, Chairman of Historic Coventry Trust, has encouraged other local businesses and organisations to consider donating to the project.
He said: “Charterhouse was the reason that Historic Coventry Trust was set up over 10 years ago and we are in the final months of completing the work at one of Coventry’s most important and ancient sites.
“While we have secured major grants from Government and national charities for the capital restoration of the buildings, the long-term future very much depends on local business and community use and support.
“That is why the £20,000 donation from Daly Engineering Services is significant and we would like to thank Peter and his team for their painstaking work on Charterhouse as well as their generosity. We have been very impressed with Daly’s work and the way they have taken on the challenge of threading in modern services through the priceless building fabric.
“We are looking forward to further developing long-term partnerships with Coventry’s businesses including sponsorship and corporate volunteering. Charterhouse will also make an outstanding venue for events and product launches – in the summer time it really is a magical place and so unexpected so close to the city centre.”
Historic Coventry Trust’s £10 million restoration of Charterhouse has been a partnership with Coventry City Council, supported by major grants from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, Historic England and several trusts and foundations including Garfield Weston, Wolfson, Foyle and Historic Houses Foundation, Edward Cadbury and Allchurches.
Caption: From the left, Ian Harrabin (Historic Coventry Trust) with Peter Hucker (Daly Engineering Services)