The History of Bristol Historic Buildings


In 2007 Norman Routledge and his company acquired a Wesleyan Chapel in Bristol and converted it to a business premises. This was to be the start of a passion for saving and bringing back to life a series of Bristol heritage buildings.

Over the next 12 years Norman acquired three further heritage buildings, each one in danger of being lost. The recent economic climate has made it difficult for these buildings to survive but Norman was able to show how each one could be brought back to its splendour. Not only that but each has been developed to be totally sustainable and to maximise the enjoyment of the wider community.

The journey has involved tackling many issues unique to heritage buildings and you can see more of this work in Projects and Craft Skills.

In 2019 Bristol Historic Buildings joined the Heritage Trust Network and we are looking forward to future collaborations where we can best support the preservation of Bristol’s heritage buildings.


During our journey we have formed partnerships with other groups who have resonated with what we are doing. This has been essential for mutual support and to ensure we are as vibrant as possible and able to reach out to those we aim to help. Some of these partners include:

  • Ambition Lawrence Weston (ALW) – a thriving community group doing wonderful things to improve the once deprived local area. Norman has chaired the ALW Board for the last 6 years and the group use Kings Weston House for many events.
  • Impermanence Dance Theatre – Impermanence is a Bristol based company creating critically acclaimed work for stage & film, both in Bristol and nationally/internationally. They found Kings Weston House as a place to rehearse for a month in 2015 and subsequently moved in! They organise regular cabaret shows in the house for over 55s at a nominal fee. 
  • Kings Weston Action Group (KWAG) – a very active local conservation group who use the house for meetings free of charge and work together with us on “doors open day”.
  • Stepping out Theatre – this group encourage people with learning disabilities to get involved with music and theatre, hosting many events at Kings Weston House.
  • The Hideaway Forest School – A little area was created for them in our woods where youngsters learn outdoor skills and have fun!
  • Junior Parkrun – Kings Weston House has been fully supportive of this event which takes place every Sunday. We baked their “Happy 4th Birthday” cake this year!

Some of our partners

The Future

Our aim now is to build on the momentum and passion created to date and take this to the next level.  Major work has taken place at St Michaels church to replace the fire-destroyed roof and to convert the building into a thriving centre for dance, arts and events. Visit our Projects page to see more.

We are currently interested in the possible acquisition of Ashton Court Mansion in Bristol which has been in a poor state of repair for decades, is 80% derelict and on the Heritage “At Risk” register.

As always we are keen to engage with other interested parties, whether they be organisations or individuals, who have a vision for making our heritage buildings as vibrant as possible for the wider community. If you would like to find out more, please visit our Contact page.