The Hawthorns Nursey

  • Project Type: Education
  • Client: The Hawthorns Nursery
  • Status: Design
  • Location: Surrey

A new two storey nursery located in Surrey, proposing a modern approach from the existing Grade II* Listed 17 th Century House, taking precedent from it distinctive features and massing.

The Hawthorns School has been located for over 50 years at Pendell Court having moved from Gatton Point in Redhill back in 1961. The Hawthorns started in 1926 for boys only, as was usual for the times, and has evolved over time into a coeducational nonselective school. The school provides a happy family atmosphere helping children reach their individual potential through academic, sporting and confidence building activities as well as nurturing and fuelling the enthusiasm of every child which they will carry on through their teenage years and into adult life.

The addition of a children’s nursery would be a welcome addition to the school, providing a preschool setting for children aged 3 months through to 4 years. The ethos of the school would be fostered in the early years helping children transfer to a more formal school environment. The nursery would also provide a significant addition to the school in helping to attract new parents and help existing families with child care.


Our proposal for the new nursery building should be seen as part of the school as a whole. The collection of historic buildings referred to in earlier paragraphs reflects the tradition of the school and its aspirations for the future. We are looking to use natural materials where ever possible. The design uses the building traditions of the past with contemporary technology to create a building of its place and time. Natural materials weather and improve with age, over time they develop a patina that tells of how the building is put together.

Site Constrants

Hawthorns school is located in the Borough of Landridge and is located close to the intersection between the M25 and M23.
The site is historically and environmentally significant with many planning challenges. As such the site will be subject to a number of restrictions which will need to be navigated as part of the design process. The site is within:

1) The Pendell Conservation Area
2) The Green Belt
3) An Area of Great Landscaped Value
4) A Biodiversity Opportunity Area

Historical Significance

Pendell Court is a Grade II* listed building and is the most significant heritage asset on site. There are other listed structures which include the garden pavilion & other garden walls and gates associated with the main house but with their own Grade II listings. The site is within the Pendell Conservation area which comprises a group of buildings that include Pendell Manor (also Grade II* listed) and Pendell House which is Listed Grade I as being of national significance.

Pendell Court dates back to 1624. The Jacobean house was extended in the 1880s to the left and rear of the original house in a similar style. Of particular interest is the way the additions have changed the building into a handsome five bay house with central projecting bay, which initially seems symmetrical, but in fact is anything but. The facade is complex in its arrangement and is beautifully accented with stone dressed mullions and transoms to the windows and a central stone arched entrance.
The building embodies tradition and an understated style which is well suited to a prep-school.

Proposed Site & Layout

The site is part of what would have been a landscaped garden to Pendell Court. This has changed a lot over the last 50 years as the school has grown and developed. However, the structure of a formal landscape garden is still evident. This nursery site can be seen as one of a sequence of events within the landscape.

Back to top