Christ's Hospital School

Christ's Hospital School in Sussex required an extension to their existing building to house a new dining room, commercial serving area and additional class rooms.

All in the detail

The unrivalled aesthetic appeal, functionality, and cost effectiveness of Marley’s Canterbury handmade clay plain tile, has made a significant contribution to the success of a building project after being specified as the ideal roofing solution for a Grade II listed school in Horsham, Sussex.

The timeless beauty of the handmade Marley Canterbury clay plain tile is on display at Christ’s Hospital School following the completion of a major extension project. However, as the school was on its present site since the 1890s, and as a Grade II listed building, it was paramount that any developments also integrated into the existing complex of listed buildings.

Over the years the main route of access to the school had changed, which saw NRAP Architects called on to develop a single, largely symmetrical building fronting the approach road, positioned to create two new external spaces. These newly formed spaces would be used to offer a state-of-the-art teaching and catering facility, while the second space would create a new entrance court that would be used to welcome staff, students, and visitors.

This saw NRAP Architects propose a series of linear gable-ended pitched roofs, with tile to brick upstand junctions at each end, to house the kitchen, with the plant within the roof space above. While chimneys at the end of each gable, run perpendicular to the dining hall and front the public spaces and classrooms. In addition, under roof-lit vaulted ceilings, face the approach road.



  • Canterbury Handmade Tiles 



  • Education



  • NRAP Architects



  • ARJ Construction



  • Sussex
Christ's Hospital School using Canterbury Handmade Tiles
The key criteria for the design team at NRAP Architects, as well as conservation officers from English Heritage and local planners, was that all materials scheduled to be used were authentic to the prevailing building style of the school and could seamlessly match the surrounding vernacular.

From a roofing perspective, the answer lay in the specification of traditional handmade clay plain tiles. With the existing listed building featuring slate roof tiles, the project’s architects were keen to work with a roof tile which could offer the right amount of texture that arises from having slight variations in shape and colour across the roof surface. Marley’s Canterbury tile not only blended with the rest of the building’s aged appearance, but its distinctive colour character will help to enhance the striking appearance of the school for decades to come.

The decision to specify Marley’s Canterbury handmade clay plain roof tile in a Loxleigh fine sanded finish helped to satisfy the aesthetic demands of all key stakeholders and simultaneously delivered a significant cost efficiency.

More than 100,000 Canterbury tiles were handmade by Marley to satisfy the extension project’s requirements and delivered to site to meet the project construction deadlines, which was phased to ensure all facilities were maintained during construction. In addition, with A+ BREEAM environmental credentials and meeting certification for BES 6001, Marley’s Canterbury tile also played a part in meeting the sustainable objectives of the project too.
Richard Owers, Director at NRAP Architects, adds: “When working on a project of this type, it is essential that all specified materials and finishes seamlessly match the existing buildings and setting. We went through a careful process with the choice of brick and mortar and followed these principles when it came to the selection of the final roof tile that would complete the new extension’s appearance.

“With Marley’s help, we were able to make the case for the specification of the Canterbury handmade clay plain roof tile. The Loxleigh colourway creates an ideal blend with the surrounding school buildings, providing an attractive colour character that helps to complement the overall look we aimed to create. As well as the unique and traditional properties the Canterbury tile offers, by specifying it we achieved a 30% cost saving when compared to other similar roof tiles.”

Stuart Nicholson from Marley, comments: “The design project team had originally specified an alternative handmade clay plain tile. But following discussions with Marley it was clear that our highly functional Canterbury handmade tile would deliver a crafted, quality product that would aesthetically match the current building. And it also presented a guide cost saving of approximately 30% compared to the original roof tile specified. This powerful combination provided a compelling argument to ensure that the Canterbury solution was chosen and installed on the new extension areas at the Christ’s Hospital School.”
Christ's Hospital School using Canterbury Handmade Tiles