Buyers have received the keys to their new home within an historic former convent, marking the development's landmark first completion.

The former St Joseph's Convent in Lawrence Street, York, has been transformed into nine one and two-bedroom apartments along with a two-bedroom house and four single-bedroom new-build houses within the grounds.

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

The plans were approved in 2018, and construction work began in June 2019.

The work was undertaken by Northminster developers who appointed Elvington Park Building Services Limited for the scheme.

Ben Hudson, of Hudson Estate Agents, said: “It’s really positive that we’ve been able to finalise the first completion at St Joseph’s Convent despite being in lockdown.

"The purchasers are waiting until movement restrictions ease before moving in, so we are fortunate that they were in a position to do that.

"It’s been a fantastic effort by the whole team; Northminster, the developers and Elvington Park pulled out all the stops to keep work progressing on site, putting social distancing measures in place and all concerned have worked really hard so the properties could be completed on time.

"Three more purchases are expected to complete with the buyers by the end of this week.”

Extern House was once home to nuns who had not taken full vows and who were not fully within the ‘Enclosure’ while The Lodge was originally built as the priest’s house.

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.