We are delighted to welcome Kristy Jones to our office. Kristy joined Gray Baynes + Shew as Office Administrator over the summer and is a great addition to our front-of-house team. Kristy has previously worked at 740 Designs having moved from Australia to England in March. So, for a friendly Australian hello telephone the office on 01865 305130.


The £1.2m re-roofing and internal refurbishment of North Block, the English Department at Marlborough College, Wiltshire is nearing completion.

The project involved completely re-roofing the C19th Listed Building to address roof leaks and also major repairs to failing brickwork on the façade. The brickwork has also been repointed in a more suitable lime mortar and cleaned.

The building now has new wiring, plumbing, heating and mechanical ventilation to ensure students have a comfortable environment in which to study.

As part of an ongoing phased project across two years, four of the classrooms have been completely refurbished including repairs to original casement leaded windows and new conservation style secondary glazing to address issues of heat loss and noise from the adjacent road disturbing teaching.

Classrooms have been refitted with new furniture, fixings and carpets to complement the existing historic interiors.

The project was time critical with works programmed to be completed over the summer break to avoid disruption to the College. The design team, contractor and client have worked closely together to complete the works in this phase allowing teaching staff to reoccupy their classrooms ready for the new term.

Marlborough corridor
Marlborough external
Marlborough classroom

We attended the Press Night for the ‘other’ Creation Theatre summer show in the beautiful gardens of St Hugh’s College. Not unusually for this theatre company this is a unique production and marks the 150th anniversary of Lewis Carroll’s ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland’. The performance starts almost imperceptibly with actors moving among the audience and continues around the gardens between scenes and settings. With the sun gradually going down, birds singing and the occasional flock of geese flying over the production takes on a magical quality. Highly recommended we think!

Tea Party

Fast becoming an annual event in the gbs calendar, this summer’s Creation Theatre production of ’As You Like It’ proved to be one of their best yet. Along with friends and clients of the practice we enjoyed a wonderful evening in the gardens of Lady Margaret Hall; another inspired setting. The play is set in the midst of World War II when Paris, and the rest of France, is occupied by Nazi Germany. The only opposition comes from the fragmented French Resistance to be found sheltering in the forest. With the College’s gardens becoming Arden Forest and a nod towards ‘allo allo’ this was a light hearted and warm performance by an excellent cast.


In the autumn of 2015, Gray Baynes + Shew began works to refurbish the 16th century chapel at Corpus Christi College, Oxford. GBS is leading a design team which includes DPA Lighting and Oxford Conservation on this Grade 1 Listed building which dates back to the College’s foundation years.

Over a period of 3 weeks in October, a series of design and cleaning trials were conducted in the Chapel with Cliveden Conservation. At the same time, a trial was conducted to test a lighting design by DPA. This was attended by the design team and the College including the Chaplain Rev Canon Dr Judith Maltby and was very well received.

Kingerlee Limited was appointed as Main Contractor in February of this year and the formal site works commenced on 3rd March. With full scaffolding access throughout the chapel completed at the beginning of April the specialist cleaning works are well underway.  Cliveden Conservation is working closely with Kingerlee Ltd and gbs architects to achieve an agreed level of finish which is a challenging task due to the different timbers that have been used in the chapel’s interior. However, progress and results are very positive which can be attributed to the excellent working relationship achieved by the team and College.

The Chapel refurbishment works are due for completion in late September 2016 in time for the College’s quincentenary year celebrations in 2017.