In 1973 the Isle of Wight Society presented its first Conservation Award.

This was to the newly restored Brigstock Terrace, Ryde. This impressive terrace, originally houses, stands proudly looking seaward towards Portsmouth.

It was built in 1832 and time had taken its toll. The building was carefully restored into apartments, and the Isle of Wight Society wanted to congratulate the owner and builders who had completed the work.

A Conservation Award has been made nearly every year since 1973.

Scroll through the photos above

There has been so much excellent work on the Island in the last 50 years to celebrate.

Rural buildings, such as barns, a gin house (where a patient horse walked round and round operating machinery), hop kilns and stables have been carefully restored.

Some still serve their original use. Others have been converted to new uses, but the character of the farm and countryside is still preserved by their conservation.

In Island towns and villages, the character of the built environment is most important. Much Island stonework has been conserved, using lime mortar and the correct techniques.

Many old churches have benefitted from the attention of our excellent Island craftsmen, stonemasons and stained glass glaziers.

Cottages have been restored from crumbling ruins to characterful homes.

The street scene has often been preserved in a way that matches the local buildings, even when new buildings or terraces have been constructed.

Sometimes a new construction can make its own contribution to an already varied street scene, and not be out of character.

Attention to small details is often very important when restoration, extension, or conservation takes place.

Decorative brickwork may need to be replaced, either by finding the right bricks in a reclamation yard, or having the exact match specially made.

Railway stations, both in current use and on lines long since closed, all have a distinctive style of architecture. Yarmouth Station even had a signal box added when it was restored – which makes an excellent bird observatory today!

At Brading the original signal box has been carefully preserved, although it is no longer required by Island Line.

The society is now looking for entrants for its 2024 awards, which will be presented at Northwood House next June.

Grand houses or small cottages, a simple stone wall or a small in-character extension to an old house, a new build or conversion – anything can be considered. There are certificates for various categories, including small projects.

At the same time, RIBA IW will be presenting its New Build Award to RIBA architects.

All the details can be found on the Isle of Wight Society website together with the entry form. Entries must be complete by December 31, 2023, and submitted by March 1, 2024.

Help celebrate the best of the recent conservation work on the Island.

Will your conservation work be a winner in 2024?