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Kentish rectory-turned-house extended and refurbished by Minifie Architects


The extension, a contemporary interpretation of the existing Victorian rectory, doubles the home’s floor area

The client purchased the property – a detached rectory dating from the 1870s – in 2012 and later commissioned London-based Minifie Architects to undertake a significant refurbishment.  

The house, which sits in two acres of land, is located in the village of Newenden in Kent, within the Newenden Conservation Area, also designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

The rectory was originally built with the two main rooms orientated to the south side. The building was completed with smaller servant’s quarters on the north, hence the need for adaptation by the client, a young family.


In addition to improving the condition of the existing house, the design team worked to enhance the house’s stability, energy use and environmental efficiency.

The extension more than doubles the home’s floor plan with a ’reflected’ contemporary interpretation of the existing rectory. The architect added two bedrooms, taking the count up to five in total, as well as increasing the living space to suit the needs of a family. A new garage block was added to provide living accommodation, parking spaces and cycle storage.

A glazed link between the existing house and new extension houses the main staircase with views from north to south.


Architect’s view

The Old Rectory has been a fantastic project to work on within the practice, with an understanding and hands-on client. It was an honour to deliver this hugely rewarding project over the course of three years. It had its challenges, given the unique location and juxtaposition between a historic building and contemporary design, but the overall result is a credit to team involved.

Ben Minifie, director, Minifie Architects

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Client’s view

After a nine-year property search, we finally found our dream period property with the most amazing gardens and views, ripe for updating and redevelopment. Working with the team from Minifie Architects made the whole project a breeze, and their ideas and inspiration to bring the Old Rectory back to life and up to date for modern-day living were truly outstanding.

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Project data

Start on site 2015
Gross internal floor area 270m²
Form of contract Design & Build
Construction cost Undisclosed
Architect Minifie Architects
Client Private
Structural engineer NWSmith Associates
M&E consultant Millennium Designs
Landscape consultant Minifie Architects
CDM coordinator EEC
Approved building inspector BBS
Main contractor EE Construction
CAD software used AutoCAD


Readers' comments (2)

  • Industry Professional

    Very nice - except for the EXCEPTIONAL UGLY and perverse connection between gutter and downpipe which looks like a right bodge !?!?!?!?!

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  • There seems to be a current fashion for architects to 'disappear' eaves gutters if they possibly can - at considerable construction cost, and with varying degrees of success.
    The detail here on the new extension seems to be a hybrid, as shown at the gable, but might it not have been easier (and no real compromise to the style of the extension) to have repeated the general form of the eaves of the existing house?
    And how much more difficult would it have been to have designed the extension without having to box out the roof to provide headroom in the en suite bathroom?

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