Homes sold at historic redeveloped convent site

Ten new homes, which form part of the transformation of a disused 19th century York convent, have been sold for a total of £2.6m since going on the market last September.

The homes, created by developer Northminster Ltd, York, include nine modern apartments in two historic Gothic Revival style, Grade II listed buildings and one new-build property, The Orchard House, at the former St Joseph’s Convent, Lawrence Street.

The properties have been sold by York estate agents, Hudson Moody, for between £175,000 and £350,000.

The original ecclesiastic buildings, which lay disused for six years before Northminster Ltd acquired the site in 2018, are The Extern, which dates from 1874 and The Lodge, built the following year.

Their transformation gives buyers the first chance to purchase the properties for 150 years.

Only four properties remain available, including a two-bedroom apartment at Number 5, The Lodge and three one-bedroom, new-build houses: Scullery House, The Refectory House and The Garden House. Asking prices are between £235,000 and £315,000.

Construction was by York-based Elvington Park Building Services Limited (EPBS) and managed by construction and property consultants, LHL Group, York, which also designed the scheme.

Northminster managing director, George Burgess, says: “It has been an outstanding achievement by all involved to conclude these sales and achieve practical completion of this exciting revitalisation of part of York’s ecclesiastic history.

“EPBS went to extraordinary efforts to progress site works while maintaining safe working practises, LHL Group has been outstanding in its management and attention to detail and Hudson Moody was key to liaising with purchasers to enable completions.”

LHL Group managing director, Richard Hampshire, says: “This was another Northminster project with challenges including a difficult site access, a stringent budget and working within listed building constraints.

“The pandemic struck around the original completion date but, with a great deal of strategic planning, we re-sequenced the programme, adopted safe working practices and maintained enough progress to enable handover of the first homes just after Easter.”

St Joseph’s Convent was founded in 1864 by a group of sisters from a convent in Belgium and the original buildings were built between 1870 and 1874.

The convent housed 40 Poor Clare Colettine nuns, an enclosed order, during the 1940s, but numbers declined and the convent ceased to viable due to rising costs.

The remaining eight sisters moved to a smaller York property in 2012 so the site could be redeveloped.