A HISTORIC former convent is set to be turned into 10 modern apartments, with four houses also built on the surrounding land.

Plans to revamp two disused buildings at the former St Joseph’s Convent in Lawrence Street, York, were given the go-ahead last year and work is due to start soon.

The two Gothic Revival style buildings - The Lodge, built in 1875, and the Extern House, which dates from 1874 - have been empty for six years.

Under the scheme, The Lodge will be turned into four apartments with a two-bedroom house in an extension and Extern House will be turned into five flats. Four one-bedroom homes will be built on disused land within the convent grounds.

And the entire site will be enclosed by an 11ft-high wall that was part of the original Victorian conversion.

The planning application says Extern House was originally home to nuns who had not taken full vows and who were not fully within the ‘Enclosure’.

And The Lodge was originally built as the priest’s house - the report says the sisters did not have their own resident priest but were able to provide accommodation.

Northminster development surveyor, Alastair Gill, said: “It is a huge privilege to once again be working on such beautiful, historic buildings in York and our scheme aims to retain as much as we can of the serene and communal nature of the original properties.

“We are excited to be providing high-quality, unique, homes for people seeking something different and to have appointed Elvington Park Building Services Limited for such an important scheme.”

St Joseph’s Convent was founded in 1864 and was home to 40 nuns during the 1940s. But numbers declined and the eight remaining residents moved to a smaller property outside the city in 2012.