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Windmill Bar and Lounge Ampleforth
Robert Thompson’s has gone back to its roots in completing work at the new Windmill Social Club at Ampleforth College. A leading independent school in North Yorkshire has responded to recent changes in legislation by opening its own licensed club. Through their development programme, a house within the school grounds has been converted into a club restaurant with a bar and garden. It is located comfortably ‘off campus’ and thus gives a feeling of independence.
An imaginative conversion designed by local architects Downes Illingsworth, in Thirsk, it incorporates a bar, with lounge and bistro areas, centred around a large fireplace and extended by a conservatory and outside deck. There are panoramic views across the valley.
The bar and furniture has all been crafted by Robert Thompson’s. Some of the panelling was originally from a closed accommodation house at the school and has been carefully refurbished and fitted.
The close connection between Ampleforth College and Robert Thompson’s Craftsmen Ltd is legendary. The turning point in the career of Robert Thompson, the firm’s founder, was around 1919 when he had a fortuitous meeting with Father Paul Neville, a priest from the College. Father Paul wanted to erect a large crucifix with the figure of Christ in the cemetery at Ampleforth but was having difficulty in finding a carpenter with a piece of oak large enough to carry out the project. Robert Thompson promptly undertook to carry out the work, thus starting of a long-lasting friendship between both men.