The Renovation of Portsmouth Abbey's Historic Manor House

After several years of planning, the Portsmouth Abbey School Board of Regents and Monastery have approved a significant renovation of historic Manor House. Built in 1864, the building formerly known as “Hall Manor” will see the replacement of its exterior siding and undergo repairs to any damaged wood. The project will also include repainting the building as well as the installation of a new roof.

Providence-based Keough Construction Management, a firm specializing in owners’ representation, construction management and design-build services, will oversee the project. Keough also supervised construction of the School’s new Science building.

Work is expected to commence in April 2022 with fire-retardant interior painting followed by the exterior refurbishment. Beginning with the removal of siding on the south wall, the project will continue toward the dormitory exterior wall once students have left for summer break. The final phase of the renovation will be the roof replacement, the painting of the building exterior in white with black shutters, and the removal of fire escapes in accordance with the fire code. The project is expected to be completed in August 2022, thereby causing as little disruption to School activities as possible.  

Designed by architect Richard Upjohn and built in 1864 by gentleman farmer Amos Smith, a Providence financier, Manor House is a 2½-story mansard-roofed structure with several interior, brick chimneys, gabled dormers, an arched open porch and fine detailing. George D. Hall later bought the Amos D. Smith House, and his widow subsequently sold it to Dom Leonard Sargent of Boston. Dom Leonard founded Portsmouth Priory on the property on October 18, 1918. The building was eventually renamed Manor House, now a multi-purpose building including a dormitory and admissions facility, formerly a library, classroom and office building, and once close to the center of monastic life.