A major project to bring the Bishop’s Palace in St Davids back to life has won a prestigious European award.

The 15-year project at the Bishop’s Palace has received an award for conservation from Europa Nostra, the Pan-European Federation of Cultural Heritage.

Dr Kate Roberts, Cadw’s inspector of ancient monuments, said: “The primary purpose of this challenging project was to preserve the Bishop’s Palace, which is the most complete surviving secular building of the second quarter of the fourteenth century in the UK.

“While it has been a very long project we are extremely pleased with the final outcome.”

In the judges’ view the Bishop’s Palace has been beautifully and imaginatively restored by Cadw, the Welsh Assembly’s historic environment service, and its works arm Cadwraeth Cymru, with outstanding presentation material to enlighten future visitors.

The conservation work itself involved consolidation of the entire building and its architectural features and replacement of missing floors in order to make the complete circuit of the first floor accessible.

Specific work included replacement of decayed stone, selective repair and replacement of architectural mouldings, and soft mortar repair of statues.

Heritage minister Alun Ffred Jones said: “Congratulations to all those involved with the conservation project as this award is justified recognition for the care, expertise and craftsmanship expended on this lovely building.”

The project is one of 29 from across Europe now going forward for one of six Grand Prix awards to be announced in Istanbul on June 10th, as this year’s outstanding examples of heritage protection.

Only one other UK project, St Martin in the Fields, London, is competing alongside St Davids Bishop’s Palace in the conservation category.