Restoration and Renovation of Traditional Timber Windows at King Edward VI, Handsworth School, Birmingham

Ventrolla has meticulously replaced and renovated 73 traditional timber windows at the historic King Edward VI, Handsworth School in Birmingham. The school, with its origins dating back to 1862, holds immense historical and architectural significance, making this endeavour a testament to our commitment to preserving heritage through expert craftsmanship and innovative woodworking techniques.

The project was completed in just 12 weeks. The project involved a meticulous renovation of the school’s exterior, including the replacement and renovation of 73 windows (55 new windows and 18 repaired), lead window replacement, facade restoration, stone mason repairs, decorations, and the installation of new modern electric blinds. This undertaking was not without its challenges, but our team’s dedication and expertise ensured a stunning transformation that will benefit the school and its students for years to come.

Project Scope:

The Handsworth School renovation project encompassed a comprehensive overhaul of the school’s exterior:

1. Window Replacement:

73 windows were meticulously renovated, with 18 windows being repaired and refurbished, and 55 new windows manufactured. They combine modern functionality with historical authenticity.


2. Lead Window Replacement:

The removal of old lead windows, a labour-intensive task, was undertaken with precision.


3. Facade Restoration:

Extensive facade restoration work brought back the original grandeur of the building.


4. Stone Mason Repairs:

Skilled craftsmen carefully repaired and matched stones to ensure historical integrity.


5. Decorations:

A fresh coat of paint revived the school’s appearance, protecting it from the elements.


6. Electric Blinds Installation:

Modern electric blinds were installed, providing enhanced control over natural light and privacy.

Challenges and Solutions:

The project encountered several challenges, including the delicate balance between modernization and historical preservation.

Replacing and renovating windows can significantly enhance a building’s energy efficiency, aesthetics, and functionality. At Handsworth School, we took this opportunity to not only upgrade the windows but also restore the charm and historical elements of the building. Our team worked closely with the school’s partner Felton Consult to select windows that not only adhered to modern standards but also blended seamlessly with the building’s traditional architecture. The meticulous attention to detail paid off, resulting in a harmonious balance between modern functionality and historical preservation.

In addition to window replacements, we undertook extensive facade restoration and stone mason repairs. The original beauty of Handsworth School’s facade had been tarnished over time, but our skilled craftsmen painstakingly restored it to its former glory. The carefully matched stones and intricate repairs brought back the building’s grandeur, contributing to an inspiring environment for students and staff alike.
No renovation project is complete without a fresh coat of paint! Reviving the school’s appearance and protecting it from the elements.
To enhance comfort and usability, we also installed new modern electric blinds throughout the new windows in the school. These blinds offer increased control over natural light, privacy, and energy efficiency while providing a contemporary touch to the overall decor.


” I want to extend my utmost gratitude to the entire project team and everyone involved in making this undertaking a resounding success. Without their expertise, dedication, and tireless efforts, completing such an extensive renovation within the designated timeframe would not have been possible.
I am incredibly proud of the completed project at Handsworth School and the positive impact it will have on the learning environment for students. The collaborative effort between our team, supply chain partners the school & Felton’s has created a space that merges heritage with innovation, ensuring a bright future for Handsworth School.”
Mark Flanagan
Managing Director

handcrafted windows King Edwards


The restoration of 73 traditional timber windows demanded the highest level of craftsmanship. Our skilled team of joiners meticulously replicated the intricate details of the original windows, ensuring that every aspect of the new windows was in harmony with the school’s historical aesthetic. The attention to detail and precision exhibited in our woodworking is a testament to our dedication to excellence.

Contribution to Conservation:

Through the application of both traditional and modern woodworking techniques, we successfully contributed to the conservation of King Edward VI, Handsworth School’s heritage. By meticulously documenting the original window designs and using these as references, we were able to authentically recreate the windows while also incorporating modern materials that enhance longevity without compromising historical accuracy.

Design Challenges:

The restoration project presented us with a variety of technical challenges. The design and dimensions of the original windows were unique to the school’s architectural style, requiring us to overcome challenges related to sourcing appropriate materials and achieving precise measurements. We also had to ensure that the replacement windows met modern energy efficiency standards while retaining their historical charm. Our team’s expertise in overcoming these challenges demonstrates our dedication to innovation and problem-solving. The installation took place between June and September 2023, while children and staff were still using the school and as such strict safety protocols needed to be followed.

Excellence & Achievement:

Our restoration efforts at King Edward VI, Handsworth School surpassed the usual requirements and expectations for joinery products. The successful replacement and renovation of 219 sashes across 73 windows were executed with the utmost care, precision, and attention to detail. Our achievement lies not only in the physical restoration but in our commitment to preserving the school’s heritage for generations to come.

We believe that our restoration and renovation of traditional timber windows at King Edward VI, Handsworth School, exemplifies exceptional craftsmanship, evidence of conservation contribution, innovative design solutions, and unparalleled excellence. We are honoured to submit our project for consideration and eagerly anticipate the opportunity to showcase our dedication to preserving heritage through woodworking expertise.


“Ventrolla’s attention to detail and mindfulness to conservation has been at the forefront of their entire involvement in the project, all the way from first contact with Kevin Wood, right the way through to the installation with Dave Tiller and Wayne Greenwood. Although not a listed building our client recognised that they are custodians of this building and Ventrolla played a pivotal role in the design of the windows to ensure that the appropriate specification is now installed. From the moment they started on site, their craftsmanship has been evident throughout and it has been enlightening to see the care and attention that has gone into the installation of each and every window even on a relatively large project. I would like to put on record my gratitude to Ventrolla for their efforts on the project and look forward to working with them time and time again. “

Ben Eden
Project Manager
Felton Consult


The Handsworth School renovation project achieved remarkable results:


1. Historical Preservation:

The project successfully preserved the historical charm and elements of the building while enhancing its energy efficiency and functionality.


2. Aesthetic Revival:

The facade restoration, stone mason repairs, and fresh paint restored the school’s visual appeal to its former glory.


3. Modern Functionality:

The installation of electric blinds added contemporary functionality and improved comfort for students and staff.


4. Energy Efficiency:

The new windows significantly enhanced the school’s energy efficiency, reducing long-term operational costs.



The successful completion of this extensive renovation project at Handsworth School was made possible through the dedication, expertise, and tireless efforts of the project team, supply chain partners, the school itself, and Felton Consult. This collaborative effort ensured that the project was completed within the designated timeframe, creating a harmonious blend of heritage and innovation.



The Handsworth School renovation project stands as a testament to the power of collaborative effort and meticulous attention to detail. It not only revitalized a historic institution but also ensured a brighter, more energy-efficient future for Handsworth School and its students. This case study showcases how heritage can seamlessly merge with innovation, setting a remarkable example in the fields of architecture, education, and historic preservation.


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