AN architect has won an award after redesigning a 17th-century pub which was partially destroyed by a digger.

Four years ago farmer Bob Tyrrell crashed his digger into the wall of the North Star pub in Steventon - which he owned - after an argument with bar staff.

He pleaded guilty to damaging property and being reckless and was sentenced at Oxford Crown Court to complete 200 hours' community service. He was also ordered to pay compensation of £2,800 to people who were in the pub at the time. None had been injured.

But Mr Tyrrell was determined to revive the pub and spent more than £100,000 on its restoration. Now Faringdon architect Andrew Townsend has received an award for his work in a Design Award Scheme run by the Vale of White Horse District Council.

The judges said the builders and design team successfully "turned back the clock" to restore the building. They thought it was a testament to the considerable care taken that there was no evidence of any repair work.

"The care that the architect took to retain the quirky, non-designed elements of the pub, which add to the very special character of the place, deserves praise."

Mr Townsend said: "I was thrilled to be involved with such a special building, a pub which had escaped the usual ravages of the last 50 years and retained an interior much as it would have been in the 19th century."

Mr Tyrrell said: "The plaque won by Mr Townsend will be going up on the pub wall near the garden. I am very pleased for Mr Townsend who's done an absolutely marvellous job. The pub has been restored to what it was, with not a beam or nail out of place."

The North Star - judged the Best Adaptation or Renovation of a Listed Building - was one of three main awards.

The others went to the Sophos World headquarters building at the Abingdon Science Park in the major development category and to Manor Farm houses at Bayworth for the best minor development.

The Sophos building was designed by Bennetts Associates Architects. The judges said: "An excellent scheme executed with great confidence. The building represents an articulate and sophisticated use of a contemporary design language for both building and landscape."

Meanwhile, Abingdon architect Alan Drury received the Minor Development Award for his design of three homes at Manor Farm, Bayworth.

Mr Drury said: "I am delighted to have received the award, considering the controversial nature of the scheme and the protracted and very detailed discussions necessary to obtain planning permission for a scheme in Oxford's Green Belt."

Designers of a further six developments also received Commendations for their work: BHP Architects for the former Morland Brewery site in Abingdon; Grey, Baynes & Shew Architects, Radley College Theatre; Wylie Associates, Bothy Vineyard house at Frilford Heath; Paul Clark Architects, Little Cottrills house, Blewbury; Dennis Cox Architect, rear extension, 7 Leamington Drive, Faringdon, and Howes Allen & Montgomery Architects for the renovation and adaptation of a listed building, 5 East St Helen Street, Abingdon.

The awards were judged by members of the Landscape Institute, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, the Royal Institute of British Architects and the Royal Town Planning Institute.