1985-2008 several phases
St Georges Music Trust
Mildred Howells, Mann Williams, Jones King
Repair and conversion of a Grade II* Listed church into a chamber music concert hall, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, Arts Council for England and English Heritage.
St George’s church had been built in 1820 by Sir Robert Smirke, the architect of the opera house at Covent Garden. Following many thriving years as a parish church during the 19th century, by the 1970s the congregation had begun to decline. It was around this time that the St George’s Music Trust was born and over the following twenty years the trust put the church to good use as a music venue. Ferguson Mann Architects assisted the trust in making small adaptations and changes from 1985.
In 1998, with funds awarded by Arts Council, Heritage Lottery Fund and English Heritage, the building was able to undergo significant improvement works. Within the main body of the church, the nineteenth century ‘chancel’ enclosure was removed, and a raised stage was provided with choir platforms. Elsewhere, the crypt was excavated and converted to a foyer, dining rooms, restaurant, recording studio and box office.
External works included an extensive programme of repairs to the fabric of the building, the enlargement of the forecourt, stabilisation of steps from Great George Street, the reinstatement of railings and the installation of art features in the garden.
‘St George’s Bristol’ re-opened in October 1999 and has been one of Bristol’s leading venues for live music performance ever since.