The Malta Independent 29 September 2022, Thursday
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Nicholas Monsarrat’s former Gozo residence heritage protection confirmed

Monday, 8 August 2022, 16:55 Last update: about 3 months ago

The former Gozitan residence of renowned British novelist Nicholas Monsarrat will remain as a protected Grade 2 scheduled building, after the Environment and Planning Review Tribunal (EPRT) turned down an appeal lodged by third parties for its protection status to be removed.

Instead the EPRT confirmed the PA’s original decision for scheduling.

The property in San Lawrenz, Gozo, comprises of two similar vernacular dwellings, each built around a front courtyard. Although the two-storey property has undergone rehabilitation works, the built fabric of both structures remains intact. The property enjoys an extensive mature garden at the back and underground cisterns.

The said property boasts of traditional Maltese vernacular architectural features; having an internal courtyard, terrace, stone staircase and the traditional Maltese roofing system composed of stone slabs, timber beams and arches.

Apart from the property’s architectural merits, in the late 1960s it was also the residence of the famous British novelist Nicholas Monsarrat, who is best known for his books such as ‘The Cruel Sea’ and ‘The Story of Esther Costello’.

In 1973, Monsarrat wrote the book ‘The Kappillan of Malta’ in this property, a book he is well known for in Malta.

In defending the scheduling, the Planning Authority has presented all the relevant documentation and continuously held its position for this property to maintain Grade 2 scheduling.

It is for the property’s architectural merits and historical significance highlighted above, that the Planning Authority, in close collaboration with the Superintendent of Cultural Heritage, scheduled this property back in 2020.

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