The Sherborne

Sherborne House, an 18th century Grade I listed building with a Medieval and Tudor wing, subsequently built on by an 18th century Georgian house, is significant for its architectural merit and connections to Sir James Thornhill.

After standing empty for over 30 years, The Sherborne House Trust embarked on an ambitious plan to restore and repurpose the landmark as a hub for cultural activities with a new home for Dorset Visual Arts Trust.

We were approached by SPASE to help provide the pavilion extension to the historic building to be used in large social events. The Sherborne has a challenging roof structure, an asymmetric pyramid structure made from convex beams that taper in two directions! Glulam’s strength, flexibility and aesthetic appeal makes it a great choice for this challenging design, with the glulam frame providing the required additional space without competing with the original building’s architectural significance.

The restoration received guidance from Historic England and other conservation and heritage groups, as well as support from the Friends of Sherborne House. The project, made possible by The Cannon Foundation, is expected to hand a glorious house back to the community, with a mission to enrich the lives of residents and visitors through art. It is now open to the public and includes a restaurant, bar, retail, and workspaces, aiming to become a central point for cultural and social activities.


  • Project: The Sherborne

  • Commission: Glulam portal frame pavilion extension

  • Architect: Stefan Pitman, SPASE Architects Ltd.

  • Main Contractor: Stonewood Builders Ltd

  • Engineer: Mann Williams

  • Timber: Spruce glulam internally, larch glulam externally

  • Fixings: Brushed stainless steel

  • Finish: Clear vanish internally, Sioo treatment externally.

  • Cost (approx. 2022): £1200 m² – for engineering design, manufacture and install – this includes ply roof deck.