Some of the country?s finest architects were recognised at the Georgian Group Architectural Awards yesterday evening (Tuesday November 1).

HRH Princess Alexandra awarded prizes to the architects of seven different Georgian restorations and new classical buildings in a ceremony at Christie?s, London. Commendation Awards were presented to the remaining short-listed renovations.

A panel of judges including Crispin Holborow, director of Savills Country Department, journalist Matthew Parris, and the architects John Burton and Giles Quarme chose winners from seven different categories of Georgian restoration including churches, country houses, gardens and new buildings.

Moggerhanger House in Bedfordshire and its architects Inskip and Jenkins won the prize for the best restoration of a Georgian country house. Moggerhanger is one of Soane?s masterpieces, illustrating his virtuosity as an architectural dramatist and manipulator of space. The house was sold to its present owners in 1994 for just £1 after the previous owner?s conversion plans proved unrealistic. At that time the house?s future was unsure as it had been damaged by hospital additions and was threatened by new development in the grounds. After an exemplary restoration programme Moggerhanger has now been fully restored to its former glory.

Moggerhanger House, Bedfordshire

Christ Church, Spitalfields and architect firm Purcell Miller Tritton took the prize for the best Church renovation. Working from a state of near collapse in the 1950s, the full restoration of Christ Church has taken a quarter of a century. Concerted work has been carried out over the past ten years including cleaning the stonework, installing a new Purbeck marble floor, reinstating Hawksmoor?s galleries and authentically redecorating the interior.

Christchurch, Spitalfields

One of Manchester?s most significant landscape features Heaton Hall and architects Land Use Consultants won the prize for best restoration of a Georgian landscape or garden. The park contains 25% of the green space in Manchester and is one of Europe?s largest urban parks. The main aims of the £7m restoration scheme were to restore the tradition of horticulture and increase the quality of presentation within the Park, whilst ensuring the educational opportunities of the site were fully exploited. The design for the historic core of the Park rekindles the dynamic force of the 18th century Park landscape and restores the setting of Heaton Hall. Using archive material it was possible to recreate the Western Pleasure Grounds, undertake full conservation and restoration of the site?s ha-ha wall, and restore the missing temple balustrade.

Heaton Hall, Manchester

The pavilions at Wormiston House, Fife and Edinburgh architects Simpson and Brown won the prize for the best new building in the classical tradition. The two new corner pavilions in the walled garden of Wormiston House on the Fife coast are the beginning of a wider project to restore the gardens and stable block. The design is deliberately historicist and is inspired by early eighteenth century pavilions by James Smith at Melville House, also in Fife.

Wormiston House, Fife

The Georgian Group, founded in 1937, is the national charity for the protection of Georgian buildings, townscapes, monuments, parks and gardens. It has a statutory role in advising English and Welsh planning authorities on proposals to alter or demolish listed Georgian buildings handling around 6000 of such applications every year.

Other category winners were as follows:-

RESTORATION OF A GEORGIAN BUILDING IN AN URBAN SETTING

Grange Farm, Overseal, Derbyshire

REUSE OF A GEORGIAN BUILDING

St Paul?s Church, Portland Square, Bristol

NEW BUILDING IN A GEORGIAN CONTEXT

The Pavilion at Oare House, Wiltshire