News & Insights

Morgan Sindall tops out £9 million Jesus College project

A £9 million project to refurbish two buildings, one nearly 100 years old and the other over 150 years old, at Jesus College, Cambridge has been celebrated with a traditional topping-out ceremony, by Morgan Sindall.

The scheme known as Chapel Court, will transform the student accommodation at the linked Morley Horder and Grade II listed Carpenter buildings. The extensive external works include façade and natural stone repairs, roof replacement, window restoration and hard landscaping.

Internal operations involve a full mechanical and electrical strip out and bedroom upgrade. Bedroom facilities are also being upgraded to provide en-suite bathrooms in 13 of the 14 staircases.

The three-storey buildings will accommodate 121 students and 25 fellows and are due to be formally handed over in September.

The topping-out ceremony was performed by the Master of Jesus College, Professor Ian White, with Morgan Sindall, the subcontractors, design team and members of the College.

Bob Ensch, area director for Morgan Sindall, says: “A topping-out is akin to a ship-naming ceremony, an age-old ritual designed to shield the ship from harm. In our case, the ceremony marks the completion of the refurbishment of the exterior of the buildings, which will provide students with custom-made space in which to live.

“We have a long track record of delivering successful schemes for the Colleges and the University of Cambridge. We understand the complexities that are involved when operating within the education environment and we are proven at delivering listed building refurbishment projects on time and within budget.”

Christopher Pratt, senior bursar at Jesus College, says: “The College is delighted with the quality of the design and workmanship. The schedule of works is only expected to last one academic year which demonstrates the careful planning and energetic execution of the project by all involved.”

During the ceremony Professor Ian White joined stone masons to install the final coping stone, inscribed with his initials and the date, and was presented with an inscribed trowel by the Morgan Sindall team.

In recent years, Morgan Sindall has successfully completed schemes for a number of Cambridge Colleges including King’s College, St John’s College and Trinity College.


Pictured (L-R):  Morgan Sindall area director Bob Ensch with Master of Jesus College Professor Ian White

For more information about this news release please contact Ruth Cobban at Paver Smith on 0151 239 5000 or email