Bristol Historic Buildings (BHB) was formed with the aim of renovating and bringing to life some of Bristol’s important heritage buildings. A key aim is to not only bring back the splendour of the buildings, but to also ensure they have viable sustainable futures and become vibrant centres for the enjoyment and amenity of the wider community.
The organisation is looking to carry forward work that started out as a private venture. Norman Routledge, the founder, began his journey with restoration work in 2007 when he acquired a Wesleyan chapel in the North of Bristol. Since then he has continued to grow his sights and began working with other partners, taking on larger projects and extending his work with the community. He now has a wealth of experience with historic building restoration, a team of people who are as passionate about the work as he is and a vision to take this further.
Norman and his team have been working with a number of prominent historic buildings in Bristol, both past and present.
St Michael on the Mount Without is a Grade II* 18th century church that was almost destroyed by fire in 2016. Renovation work started in 2019 and the church opened its doors to the public again in Spring 2021.
Kings Weston House is a Grade I 18th century Georgian mansion that was in need of major investment in 2013 and was nearly on the “At Risk” register when it was taken on. It holds numerous functions including weddings and wakes, is home to a small community and is available for a wide range of community events.
The Lamplighters is a Grade II 18th century public house that was lying derelict and at risk of demolition in 2013. It is now a meeting place enjoyed by the whole community.
The Wesleyan Chapel is a 19th century chapel that needed major internal renovations and converted in 2007 to a thriving business centre.
Over more than a decade we have been working with experienced specialist craftsmen in order to restore the heritage buildings sympathetically with the period but also taking into account modern methods and techniques. Some examples of these are listed below.
Stonework ~ there are many areas of the buildings we’ve looked after that have needed the experience of master stonemasons – whether in the restoration and maintenance of historic stone features, or re-creating stonework that had been lost to bring back these magnificent features.
Roofing ~ older buildings often have more complex roofing needs. At Kings Weston House lead roofers 100% restored the eight lead roofs, saving them for the next 100 years. St Michaels is requiring a rebuild of 2/3 of the entire roof which was lost to fire. The Lamplighters needed completely re-roofing using traditional materials.
Internal decoration ~ many aspects of the decoration has required specialist craft skills. For example, BHB worked with painting restorers to bring back to life Trompe l’oeil figures in the great hall at Kings Weston House and plasterwork craftsmen have re-created the wonderful coving ceiling in the main Vanbrugh room.
Landscaping ~ many hertiage venues had a strong focus on the grounds, with emphasis on complimenting the design of the buildings. At Kings Weston House we worked with specialist designers to bring back the beauty and grandeur of the landscape and gardens, with particular attention on both the Vanbrugh and pre-Vanbrugh eras.
Bristol Historic Buildings would love to hear from you for whatever reason you are interested.
Events~ we work on buildings that look to engage the public. If you are interested in holding an event or series of events in one of our buildings then we would love to hear from you.
Connections and Projects ~ we have continually reached out to individuals and groups who are interested in collaborating on interesting ideas. This could be arts, community, schools, ecology, health, history and many others. Maybe you have something to offer here?
We have people interested in the historic buildings we mange for all sorts of reasons so if you’d like to send us a message please use the button below.