The practice was founded in North Devon by Jonathan in 1986, John Alexander became director in 2002 and Martin Sturley-Hayes in 2014.

Our experience and range cover the south west from the Scilly Isles to Bath and Dorset

In 2004 the practice opened the Taunton office to address the workload in Somerset, Dorset and Gloucestershire.

The conservation of historic sites and buildings has always been a fast moving, intellectually-based discipline requiring particular training in the context of on-going research and developing advice. We have always committed to maintaining an up-to-date knowledge of the extensive and evolving application of building conservation.

This is reflected in accreditations that individuals in the practice maintain to demonstrate this commitment and our close collaboration with Historic England, SPAB, Devon Earth Building Association and the Conservation of Traditional Thatch Group etc.

We have recently contributed to Historic England’s current research in Devon Cobbled Paths (with the SPAB), Damp Towers and the cob section of their recent publication on Earth, Brick and Terracotta.



In addition to a full architectural service as defined by the RIBA the practice has a focus on good design and delivering well detailed and finished building projects.

Surveys, feasibility and funding

Initial designs are explored through site, condition and feasibility studies which help to develop the brief and inform early important consultation. Surveys are carried out in-house or we can coordinate other specialist consultants.

The practice is experienced in providing Conservation Management Plans and other important contextual information on a project to avoid abortive design work on controversial projects.

We work closely with church and community clients to establish possible sources of grant funding for their projects and assist with grant applications and on site administration.

Planning and approvals

We are experienced in helping clients navigate the planning process for complex and challenging sites and proposals.

With good working relationships with Local Authorities in the South West and Dorset, Historic England and other statutory consultees we are able to assist with all aspects of applications for the various Planning application types, Listed Building Consent, Conservation Area Consent etc.

We are experienced in the implications ecology, flood risk and land contamination can have on building projects, both in terms of surveys, project programme and mitigation methods.

Design and conservation

Although the contextual design challenges of a project are important, we are also keen to promote detail design excellence based on a sound understanding of traditional and modern materials and how they form the key components and finishes of the building.

Our long term commitment to the repair, maintenance and sensitive adaption of historic buildings enables us to gain a detailed understanding of traditional building pathology and a better understanding of long-term material performance and decay.

Contract administration

The practice is intensely aware that the best designs will flounder if not well executed in the construction phase.

Over the last 30 years of working within the South West we have built up a strong network of competent contractors and will be able to advise clients on the most suitable contractors depending on the type of project and location.

The selection of contractors with appropriate management and construction skills form an important part of the practice’s project work with administering contracts, quality inspections, monitoring variations etc.

  RIBA Plan of Work

The Team


The practice team has a wealth of architectural and conservation experience and is committed to ongoing training and accreditation.

We apply and build upon this experience in the context of the varied and interesting workload the practice maintains.

We hope this demonstrates that we are not complacent about how we apply ourselves to the design work but are open to fresh ideas and design solutions. Innovative ideas for more contemporary design solutions are explored in the context of our combined wealth of knowledge on the building tradition, materials, historic and architectural detailing particular to the South West.

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Jonathan Rhind BSc, DipArch, RIBA, AABC, SCA (Director)

A chartered architect and company director, Jonathan is accredited in architectural conservation. He qualified in London in 1989 where he worked on a number of historic buildings, including banks, offices, shops and houses.

Jonathan has over 30 years’ experience working on historic buildings in the South West of England, from castles and country houses to churches and small cottages. He works extensively with Historic England and local authorities to achieve planning permissions and listed building consents and delivering successful work on site.

Jonathan has a particular interest in the style and detail connected with each phase of a historical development; the social and economic factors that shaped the buildings, and the performance of traditional materials in our climate. Jonathan also has an interest in using traditional construction methods in new buildings, whilst incorporating tried and tested modern materials and sustainable systems, to form practical and elegant buildings.

Jonathan is a specialist in cob buildings and is passionate about the construction, care, performance and repair of cob, unbaked earth mass walling.  He is a technical group member of the Devon Earth Building Association, which promotes greater understanding of cob as a traditional building material.

Jonathan is a Diocesan Inspector for Exeter and Bath and Wells Diocese and a member of the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB), Historic England.

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John Alexander BSc, DipArch, Msc (Cons), RIBA, AABC, SCA (Director)

John is a chartered architect and company director, who has been with Jonathan Rhind Architects since 2000, following his postgraduate Masters degree in building conservation. He has previously worked on large commercial and healthcare projects in Bristol and London.

John has over 25 years’ experience in the industry and all of his projects have a conservation element, including consolidation of ruins, church repairs and works to historically significant properties. He is the appointed architect on over 50 churches and has a wide range of experience on listed buildings, from important historic farmhouses to industrial sites.

John is an active member of a group set up to promote knowledge in the conservation and traditions of thatching roofs: The Conservation of Traditional Thatch Group (CoTTG). The group is made up of experienced thatchers and officers from SPAB and Historic England, as well as conservation officers and architects.

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Martin Sturley-Hayes BA (Hons), DipArch.(Cons), RIBA, AABC, CA (Associate Director)

A chartered architect and associate director of the company since 2014, Martin has been with the practice since 2001 following a graduate degree in Architecture, leading towards further qualification in building conservation.
Martin is specialised in building conservation and has considerable knowledge and experience of working on historic private houses, community projects, new build alterations and additions in sensitive sites.

Martin is passionate about finding the balance between understanding and respecting historic buildings, appropriate repair techniques and materials to secure their long-term use, alongside the need to integrate modern standards and architectural aspirations for contemporary living. He has a particular interest in design solutions which draw on historic character and contemporary forms, with construction and materials complementing each other.

Martin obtained the AABC (Architects Accredited in Building Conservation) in 2010 and is also on the Exeter Diocesan Advisory Committee (DAC) approved list for church inspections.

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Jonny Poland BA (Hons), M.Arch (dist), PGdip, RIBA, AABC, CA (Conservation Architect)

A chartered architect, accredited in architectural conservation, Jonny initially joined the practice as a postgraduate student in 2008 before returning to the team in 2010 following his M.Arch at Plymouth University, where he graduated with distinction.

Jonny has worked on a number of prestigious projects, including being project architect for The China Tower on Clinton Devon Estates’ Rolle Estate in East Devon, which was finalist in the AJ Retrofit awards 2014 alongside internationally renowned architects, Haworth Tompkins and Zaha Hadid.

Jonny has worked on a range of projects, including a large farm diversification scheme, three Heritage Lottery Funded church repair projects and also has experience working with scheduled ancient monuments and grade I, II* and II listed buildings. He is currently project architect for The Farmers Arms and Manor Inn development in Woolsery, Devon, a high profile village regeneration scheme.

Jonny has a particular interest in creative re-use of materials and the juxtaposition between conservation architecture and contemporary design.

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Julian Clayton BA (Hons), DipArch, RIBA, AABC (Senior Architect)

Julian joined the practice in 2016 as a Senior Architect, after working abroad for a number of years on large retail, hospitality and educational projects.

Drawing on the experience of his early career as a conservation architect, Julian’s particular focus is in providing new and contemporary design for old and historic buildings. Through attention to detail and using traditional materials in innovative ways, he tries to reach a balance between the old and new.

Julian sits on the Exeter and Bath and Wells DAC approved lists for church inspections and has recently applied for accreditation with the AABC (Architects Accreditation in Building Conservation). Julian is also highly experienced in project management.

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Mark Raby BArch, DipArch, RIBA (Senior Architect)

A chartered architect with over 10 years’ experience in the industry, Mark has been with Jonathan Rhind Architects since 2016.

Mark’s experience ranges from large scale master-planning of mixed use commercial schemes, to one off bespoke houses, however his passion is in heritage buildings and sustainability.

He has a wide range of experience in conservation architecture and has been project architect for private planning applications in conservation area, as well as working on the restoration and extension of listed buildings and barn conversions. He has worked on church schemes, preparing DAC faculty applications and tender documentation.

Mark believes that the key to a successful architectural project is in the simplicity of approach. The built environment is an expression of culture and is constructed of the systems that exist locally or are imported and through the action of making, becomes a craft or artefact. Mark believes that the main endeavour as an industry is to create something unique, beautiful and functional, and the technical knowledge that facilitates a design that is robust supports that aim.

Mark is currently working towards a qualification as a Conservation Architect with the Register of Architects Accredited in Building Conservation (AABC).

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Rob Humphries HNC (Building) ND Arb (Senior Architectural Technician)

Rob has worked in architecture for over 35 years, with experience in residential, commercial and industrial development. Most of his workload since moving to the south west 18 years ago has been in residential and historic/conservation repair projects including bespoke housing, churches, cathedrals and public buildings.

In the mid 90’s, Rob took time out to train as an arboriculturalist; a role he pursued for three and a half years before returning to architecture, but retains a strong interest in trees and their place in the construction/landscape interface.

Rob’s main strengths are in developing thoughtful detailing solutions, whether in historic building contexts or innovative contemporary design.

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Darryn Marrs HNC (Construction), MCIAT (Senior Technologist)

A chartered architectural technologist, Darryn is an experienced senior technician with sound construction and detailing knowledge and has been with the practice since 2008.

Following the completion of a HNC in construction, Darryn has worked on a variety of projects from the change of use of listed buildings, to numerous house extension and alteration projects, with varying budgets up to 1.4 million pounds.

His experience includes the extensive repair, renovation and conservation of a 6500sq ft. Grade I listed Georgian town house in the world heritage site of Bath shortlisted for the 2017 Michelmores Property Awards – Heritage Project of the Year. He is also the project lead on a long-term maintenance and repair programme for a local charitable trust, that owns four large Grade II listed town centre buildings, housing numerous flats, shops, offices and a bar.

Darryn is in the process of applying for the CIAT Accredited Conservationist qualification.

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David Bridges BSc (Hons), MCIAT (Senior Technologist)

Following an Honours Degree in Architectural Design from Coventry University, David has been with the practice since 2009.

David has worked on a wide range of projects, from small kitchen extensions and cottage refurbishments, to high-end barn conversions, large farmstead alterations and a new-build luxury pool house.

The majority of David’s experience has been work on listed buildings or sites within conservation areas. David recently achieved accreditation as a Chartered Architectural Technologist (MCIAT).

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Peter Thompson BSc (Hons) MCIAT, MInstRE (Technologist)

After completing a BA in Architectural Design and Technology at the University of the West of England, Peter joined the practice in 2015. He has also trained in aerospace design and has detailed knowledge of materials and services.

Peter has previous practical building and stonemasonry experience having worked on many listed buildings, including National Trust properties and private dwellings in the South West. Pete recently achieved accreditation as a Chartered Architectural Technologist (MCIAT).

Peter’s latest project is work on a new pool house within the grounds of a Grade II listed dwelling.

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Rick Gilroy (Trainee Technician)

Rick joined the practice in 2015 as a technician, having previously worked as an Environmental Test Engineer, assessing the reliability of product and ensuring they survive in the working environment.

Prior to this he worked for a number of years within the aerospace industry as a Non-destructive Test Technician carrying out ultrasonic and radiographic inspection tests.
Rick has a particular interest in the creative re-use of redundant industrial and agricultural buildings for new use, including residential and commercial sites, whilst retaining the original character and design intentions.

Rick is currently half way through completing a HNC (Level 4) in Construction.

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Corey Sutherland (Architectural Technician)

Corey joined our Taunton office in 2015 after studying A-level Design & Technology, Mathematics and Art.

As an Architectural Technician, Corey has completed his  Level 3 Extended Diploma in Construction and the Built Environment and plans to start  part 1 of his Architectural degree in September 2018.


Support Staff (Secretarial, I.T. Support)

Pamela Longhurst, Rom Dodson, Tina Fouracre, Fergus Alexander, Hayley Warner.



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RIBA Chartered Practice

RIBA Chartered Practices are the only practices to be endorsed and promoted by the RIBA it is the only client focused accreditation scheme specifically for architectural practices and shows that we are committed to excellence in design and service delivery.

We also have RIBA conservation accredited architects. Appropriately accredited conservation architects are a fantastic source of professional help and a major step towards ensuring any building works you oversee are carried out correctly and appropriately.

Control by a conservation accredited professional is a requirement of grants being awarded for repairs to historic buildings by the Heritage Lottery Fund and many government funded works.

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Architects Accredited in Building Conservation (AABC)

The AABC Register is an independent accreditation body with the primary purpose of informing clients and protecting the historic built environment from damaging interventions by people not skilled in historic building conservation and adaption.

Control by a conservation accredited professional is a requirement of grants being awarded for repairs to historic buildings by the Heritage Lottery Fund and many government funded works.

All registered architects are re-assessed every 5 years as a continual skills appraisal process and for applicants to demonstrate their insights, understanding and application of the building conservation principles.

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Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists

The Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists: CIAT is the leading qualifying body for Architectural Technology and promotes accreditation, registration and continual professional development of individuals studying and practicing in the discipline of Architectural Technology.

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Church of England

All regional DAC offices administer the Inspection of Churches Measure which requires that all church buildings be inspected by an Approved Architect or Surveyor once every five years and produce a Quinquennial Inspection Report.

We have Conservation Architects registered with both Exeter and Bath & Wells DACs. Within the practice we look after over 100 churches within these two Diocese.



Our awards are a tribute to our clients' commitment and dedication to the sensitive and sympathetic conservation repair and re-use of significant historic buildings in the South West.


2017 Crescent House, Bath

Highly Commended - The Georgian Group Architectural Awards

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2017 - Bridge Chambers, Barnstaple

Commendation - The Devon Historic Building Trust Conservation Awards

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2017 - Bath Crescent House

Shortlisted - Heritage Project of the Year. Michelmores Property Awards

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2017 - St. Mary's Church, High Bickington

Highly Commended, RICS Building Conservation Awards, South West & Wales

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2017 - St. Mary's Church, High Bickington

The Diocesan Advisory Committee Awards 2017

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2016 - St. Mary's Church, High Bickington

Highly Commended, The King of Prussia Gold Medal

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2016 - Bathealton Court, Bathealton

Commendation, The William Stansell Somerset Historic Building Awards

Retrofit finalist

2014 The China Tower, Bicton

Finalist, AJ Retrofit Awards 2014

Michelmores Western Morning News Property Awards

2014 The China Tower, Bicton

Shortlisted, Michelmores Western Morning News Property Awards

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2013 The China Tower

Certificate of Recognition for work, The English Heritage Angel Awards 2013 The China Tower

RICS 2013 Award

2013 Holwell Temple, Filleigh

Shortlisted, RICS Building Conservation Awards, South West & Wales

DAC Awards

2012 Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Aylesbeare

The Diocesan Advisory Committee Awards 2012

Som Building Pres Trust

2012 Tithe Barn, West Lyng

Winner - 2012 William Stansell Award, Somerset Building Preservation Trust

Nostra Award

2012 The Poundstock Gildhouse, Poundstock

Winner - 2012 EU "Grand Prix" for Cultural Heritage/Europa Nostra Award for Conservation

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2012 St. Thomas Church, Kentisbury

The Diocesan Advisory Committee Awards 2012

RICS 2011 Award

2011 The Tithe Barn, Lyng Court

Finalist, The 2011 RICS Awards South West

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2010 All Saints Chapel, Instow

The Diocesan Advisory Committee Awards 2010

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2010 All Saints Church, Holcombe Rogus

The Diocesan Advisory Committee Awards 2010

RICS 2010 Award

2010 West Somerset Mineral Railway

Highly Commended, RICS Southwest Building Conservation Award

Nostra Award2

2010 West Somerset Mineral Railway

Highly Commended, 2010 European Union Prize for Cultural Heritage/Europa Nostra Awards

RIBA award

2009 The Poundstock Gildhouse, Poundstock

Winner, RIBA Southwest Conservation Award

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2009 Private Chapel near Ivybridge

Finalist, South West RICS Awards for Building Conservation



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