Yr Hen Lys • The Old Courthouse

Gavin Harris / The Old Courthouse Working Group, Denbighshire, 2019


Subscribe now to instantly view this image

Subscribe to the Architects’ Journal (AJ) for instant access to the AJ Buildings Library, an online database of nearly 2,000 exemplar buildings in photographs, plans, elevations and details.

Already a subscriber? Sign in


Photography by Gavin Harris     Download Original

  • thumbnail_IMG_8612    
  • thumbnail_IMG_8404    
  • thumbnail_IMG_7987    
  • thumbnail_IMG_8305    
  • thumbnail_IMG_8360    
  • thumbnail_IMG_8593    
  • thumbnail_IMG_8609    
  • thumbnail_IMG_5591    
  • thumbnail_RTCtoc_Planning4.01HallLayouts    
  • Before - thumbnail_IMG_6473 (1)    
  • Before - thumbnail_IMG_0283    

Following the closure of the NatWest Bank in Ruthin in 2017, The Old Courthouse (a 600 year old Mediaeval Grade II-Listed building) was purchased by Ruthin Town Council in January 2019 with the aim of creating: A Community, Civic and Visitor Hub in the h

The £115K refurbishment project has involved full replacement of all services, stripping out unsightly 20th century layers of services and IT of a bank, and introducing a simple skirting run for electrical and heating, and a ceiling services ribbon - a contemporary intervention to provide lighting, CCTV, audio, IT, projections etc.

A new high performance boiler has provided efficiencies in energy use, which together with draught proofing and some insulation where possible has improved the heat loss of the structure. Given its listing more dramatic insulative improvements were not possible. Project development was undertaken following public consultation to produce a brief which 'sweats the asset' for the Town Council.

Creating a residents and visitors focus in the day with collaborative workspace, retail showcase, information point and a Heritage and art exhibition space in the main hall. Each evening and on some days it is then a blank canvas to be hired or used by the community - Cinema (4K projection Dolby Atmos), LED colour change ambience lighting for parties and events, talks, council meetings etc.

Inclusive of purchase the total project cost is £241K, representing very good value for the Council for a property now worth in excess of £300K.

Annual CO2 emissions data (requested in kg/m2/year) was provided as follows: 4.04 Tonnes


  • Begun: Aug 2019
  • Completed: Oct 2019
  • Floor area: 250m2
  • Sector: Arts and culture
  • Total cost: £115,000
  • Funding: Donors/Sponsors, £18,200; £10,000 NL Community Fund; £30,000 NL Heritage Fund; £56,800 RTC Reserves
  • Tender date: Jul 2019
  • Procurement: Minor Works
  • Address: St Peter's Square, Ruthin, Denbighshire, LL15 1AA, United Kingdom