Greendale Construction Limited commence works at Shire Hall, Dorchester

Dorset chartered Builders, Greendale Construction Limited, has commenced works at Shire Hall, Dorchester. Shire Hall is undergoing a major renovation and refurbishment after being awarded £1.5 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund, which was match funded by West Dorset District Council.

Greendale Construction will be carrying out internal and external refurbishment of Shire Hall, including a new roof, new passenger lift, new incoming water and gas services, as well as internal and external redecoration throughout, and all new mechanical and electrical services. The project also includes the construction of a pair of two-bed residential apartments within the upper floor areas of the building.  A new visitor reception, shop and cafe will be constructed at basement and lower/ upper ground floor levels within the building.


Due to open in Spring 2018, Shire Hall will be a world-class heritage attraction, which will be run by the Shire Hall Trust. Visitors be able to explore the historic cells and courtroom and there will also be changing exhibitions, events, and a lifelong learning programme. The works will conserve the Grade I listed building while enabling people to discover its 200 years of history. 


Cllr Mary Penfold, West Dorset District Council’s Portfolio Holder for Enabling, commented: “We are very excited to bring to life this extraordinary building. The trial of the Tolpuddle Martyrs that took place in 1834 changed the course of history and shaped some of the laws that now govern us today.”


Phillip Hughes Associates have been assigned as architects and historic building conservation consultants. Quantity surveying and cost control will be provided by Mace, and the mechanical and electrical consultants are Martin Thomas Associates. 


Greendale Construction Director, Rob Hooker, said: "We are extremely pleased and excited to have been awarded the main works contract at Shire Hall. It is an amazing building of international historic importance, and to be part of its refurbishment for future generations is a real honour and challenge. We look forward to collaboratively working with the design team, clients and Trustees of the Shire Hall Trust to deliver this amazing project next autumn, in time for the official opening of the heritage attraction in the Spring of 2018."



Photo Caption: Mark Pique, Architect, Philip Hughes Associates; Cllr John Russell, Environment & Assets Portfolio Holder, West Dorset District Council; Cllr Mary Penfold, Enabling Portfolio Holder, West Dorset District Council; Anna Bright, Shire Hall Director; Rob Hooker, Director, Greendale Construction Limited; John Kirk, Senior Contracts Manager, Greendale Construction Limited; Simon Copping. Project Manager, Greendale Construction Limited


For further information please contact: Seaberry PR.  Tel: 01929 761684.  M: 07804 298 191. Email:


Issued on behalf of: Greendale Construction Limited, 6 Old Generator House, 25 Bourne Valley Road, Poole, Dorset. BH12 1DZ. Tel:  01202 764551 Fax: 01202 764221.


Notes for Editors


Greendale Construction Limited


Established in Poole, Dorset, in 1990 by Directors, Chris Kane and Rob Hooker, Greendale Construction Limited is a highly acclaimed, client-focused Chartered Building Company with a reputation for quality, value and reliability.  Sectors covered by Greendale include, commercial, education, health, private, interiors and special works, as well as an electrical division. The Company holds a silver Investors in People Award, was named FMB Britain’s Best Builder (commercial sector) 2012, and involves itself with raising funds for a number of local charities.


Shire Hall


The grade 1 listed Shire Hall is located in High West Street, Dorchester.  Shire Hall was designed by the London Architect, Thomas Hardwick, and constructed in c. 1797 on the site of a previous Shire Hall. It is a reserved classical building built in one single phase to house a Nisi Prius and a Crown Court with cells below. The building has been extended and altered over time the overall dimensions and many of the architectural features of the entrance hall, staircase hall and Grand jury room have survived. The court room was last used in the mid 1950s. In the 1960's a civil defence / nuclear bunker complex was constructed at basement level.  Shire Hall held the trial of the Tolpuddle Martyrs in1834 which led to the birth of the trade union movement.


The Author, Thomas Hardy, was also a magistrate at Shire Hall.



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