Local Joinery Company Awarded Prestigious Contract at Shrewsbury’s Historic Flaxmill

Morris Joinery has been awarded a coveted commission from Historic England to restore and replace a total of 39 windows at the town’s historic Flaxmill Maltings, known as the grandparent of the modern skyscraper.

Four of the original 4ft square windows at Shrewsbury Flaxmill Maltings are to be carefully restored by hand with a further 35 other replicas hand crafted to complete this element of the major refurbishment project.

All the windows will be made from wood with sills crafted from English oak and frame and casements in Douglas Fir with modern thermal requirements included to ensure the new windows are ‘future-fit’.

Steve Granda, Joinery Manager at the Morris Joinery business based at Bicton Business Park was delighted to be invited to tender for the painstaking work required on the project – and even more delighted to be awarded the contract.

“This really is a privilege for our team to be working on such an historic and important landmark building. We will be using all our expertise and experience to ensure a quality final product which meets with the stringent standards required for this type of specialist restoration work.”

James Sibson and Tim Greensmith of Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios, Architects for the full restoration of the Flaxmill commented: “The Flaxmill Maltings is among the most important conservation and renovation projects in the UK. The works require craftsmen with the knowledge and skill necessary to recognise the standard of workmanship required of such a project. We recognise that not every workshop can handle this kind of project and are pleased to have Morris Joinery as part of the team.”

The main contractors for the project are Croft Building & Conservation Ltd. Croft, together with the Architects put Steve and the joinery team through their paces to demonstrate their approach and methodology for the restoration. Steve Granda explained:

“We were asked to take one of the windows from site to workshop to restore it providing a clear step by step documented process on how and what was done to produce the quality of the finished item.  

“The high standards for conservation repair were set out by the Architect. The repair principles guided our work as we gradually revealed the story of the window by carefully removing the layers of paint and investigating the method of assembly and later alterations to the original window of 1897.”

Alastair Godfrey, Shrewsbury Flaxmill Maltings Project Lead for Historic England commented: “It’s fantastic that expert craftspeople from a local company, so close to the Shrewsbury Flaxmill Maltings, have been awarded the commission to restore and replace windows of the Main Mill, as part of this Heritage Lottery-funded project.  The successful restoration of this building relies on people who have the appropriate skills and knowledge to work on heritage projects; Morris clearly has these and I’m delighted that they will be contributing to the conservation of this historically significant site and helping to make it a central part of Shrewsbury life once again.” 

Morris Joinery are well versed in working within the strict guidelines and requirements of restoration and conservation projects. The Joinery team comprises a blend of experience and youth, using time honoured methods along with all the technological advances within their bespoke Joinery workshop. 

Their experience ranges from private commissions for prestigious homes and buildings across the county to major projects working as part of Morris Property.  Work has included a number of ecclesiastic restorations including the £1.5 million scheme at Shrewsbury’s Roman Catholic Cathedral to provide a café, shop, heritage centre and improved accommodation for priests and the sympathetic restoration of the town’s Methodist Church which saw the front elevation façade carefully retained whilst the remainder of the building was demolished and rebuilt, respecting the building’s heritage. The company also supports and donates to the Shropshire Historic Churches Trust.   

The Joinery and Property teams have also recently finished a £750,000 refurbishment of the Moser Library at Shrewsbury School, crafting and fitting new bookcases for over 30,000 books, with desks, doors and windows and installing a raised mezzanine classroom with a sliding archive store below and the conversion of an historic flour mill into a prestigious residential development.

Morris Joinery began life as a small workshop tucked away in Frankwell, Shrewsbury in the 1920’s. From here a small team of craftsmen delivered the bespoke joinery requirements for Morris & Company. By 1976 the work increased, and new premises at Silkmoor were built where joiners serviced the company’s growing number of properties.

In 2009 with the business and reputation continuing to grow, the decision was made to move to the present state of the art premises on the outskirts of Shrewsbury at Bicton Business Park.

Today, Morris Joinery continues to thrive, servicing not only Morris & Company, but its growing number of private and public-sector developers, builders and individuals offering traditional and contemporary tailor-made products and services.