Listed buildings – setting the record straight

Topping Out

What you see is so often not what others see. I was quite surprised recently when, during a conversation with an architect, he commented that a particular job he was working on was not ‘Castellum’s kind of thing’. I asked what he meant and he explained that he was applying for planning permission and listed building consent for a client that wanted to extend and restore a superb Grade II* listed manor house. ‘You guys do modern and super contemporary builds don’t you?’ he said.

I was slightly dumbfounded but, I guess, perception is just one person’s view and this opinion will have been formed from what this person does know about Castellum, rather than what he doesn’t.


Yes. We do build new – traditional and contemporary. We also do conversions. We also absolutely do restore listed buildings and we love those projects as much as the new ones. There is something utterly satisfying in breathing life back into historical buildings and ensuring their future for the next chapter of their history. We have a superb team of craftspeople who are, we think, some of the best in the industry. We also have incredible retrofit credentials which sets us apart and of which we are particularly proud (please see the November newsletter for more information). We have recently been taken on by the Grosvenor Estate in London to bring six apartments in one of their many historical buildings up to modern building regulation standards, greatly increasing insulation levels and installing sustainable energy – this is really exciting progress. In reality, restoring, extending or converting historical buildings accounts for about half of our projects in London and the Cotswolds; less so in Surrey because much of our work there is, indeed, new dwellings on the Surrey estates but, having said that, we have just been instructed on a major restoration and remodelling project there too.

Much of the work Castellum undertakes is done under Non-Disclosure Agreements. Many of our clients are private individuals and whilst they don’t always ask us to sign such contracts, more often than not, they do ask us to tread lightly and not to splash their houses all over our social media pages. This is entirely understandable, but it can make marketing challenging sometimes and it can be hard to show off what we are capable of.


In a bid to set the record straight, here are a couple of recent testimonials and photographs of our work:

“We thought Castellum did a terrific job in renovating our Grade II listed Manor House, which needed a substantial amount of work: everything from extensive window renovation to new wiring and heating, not to mention restoring large parts of the roof and dealing with death watch beetle! It was easy to deal with Dorcas and her colleagues from Castellum who always kept us up to date with progress and advised in terms of procedures. We thought the whole project went very smoothly and we would recommend Castellum to anyone.”
Private clients

“Castellum has greatly impressed me. In general their approach is entirely collaborative. I worked with them on a beautiful Grade II* property in the Cotswolds for which I helped them achieve Listed Building Consent. I was then retained by the clients to oversee the restoration of what was a very dilapidated house. The team was sensitive and respectful to the fabric of the building, understanding the importance of restoration rather than replacement and they had excellent craftspeople who were passionate about their work.”
Jeff George BA, MRICS, FASI, FFB, FRSA, FCIOB (Historic Buildings Consultant and ex English Heritage).

If you have a project involving a listed building or one in a Conservation Area, please do not hesitate to get in touch – we are passionate about careful craftsmanship, be it old or new.

Meet the Team – this month – Dan Bergin

Mike Sears

This month, meet Dan. We have featured him our social media pages before but, for those that missed him there, here he is again.

Dan first joined Castellum in 2015 as a Quantity Surveyor and then briefly left us for time before making a triumphant return in 2022 as Commercial Manager. Based in our London office, Dan spreads his time across the London and Surrey teams.

When he’s not crunching numbers, you can find Dan holding court at home in North London with his trusty side-kicks, his cat and his dog. He is a master of work-life balance, spending his free time taking scenic strolls with his dog, hunting down the latest gigs and then hitting the gym to, well, work off those post-gig pub snacks! It is safe to say that Dan knows how to build a good time, both in and out of the office. Cheers Dan!

Coming up next…

Mike Sears

In the coming months, we have a list of topics to cover in our monthly newsletters but we would be most interested to know which subjects would pique your interest. Phoebe, a marketing student at Liverpool University, has been with Castellum part time for almost two years now, helping out with social media, tender returns and events. She is keen to turn her hand to writing for us next.

So far we have covered Retrofit, natural stone, living off grid and topping out. Up next we have garden buildings, the importance of environmental surveys and we want to talk about landscaping and it’s growing influence in the early stages of planning. If you have a suggestion we would love to hear from you… please contact