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Guildhall Hotel Bristol gets the go-ahead

15. 12. 08
posted by: AW

bristol guildhallPlanning permission and listed building consent has been received from Bristol Council to transform the historic, Grade II-listed Guildhall and Assizes Courts in Bristol's Old City into a luxury five-star, 91-bedroom spa hotel with a rooftop swimming pool.

The adjoining Grade I-listed former Bank of England building will be incorporated into the scheme.

The Guildhall and Assizes Courts were built in two stages, in 1843 and 1886, on the foundations of the earlier medieval Guildhall. The building has facades on both Corn Street and Broad Street in the heart of Bristol’s Old City.

Not all of the Guildhall’s original interiors remain. However, those that do are being incorporated into the new hotel. These include the oak-panelled courtroom, which features high-level leaded windows with a 10m-high beamed ceiling. The Judge's ceremonial dais is also being restored.

Two storeys of flooring will be removed to open up the Guildhall's original 1843 tower entrance on Broad Street and create a triple-height reception area.  The tower's stained glass windows and original statues will also be restored.

The Guildhall's bedrooms will be built around the existing towers, pitched roofs, dormer windows and even the statues of famous Judges; with each room having its own unique style and layout.

The cobbled 'Jail Van Yard', where Judges and the accused would arrive for court hearings, will be opened up to the public.  The courtyard will provide access to the hotel's bar and restaurant and will feature an outdoor cafe seating area.  The Crown Prosecution Service's prison cells in the basement will be converted into changing rooms for the hotel's gym and spa.

The initial stripping out and excavation work will begin in January 2016, with the main building work starting in May. The work is estimated to take 18 months. The proposed opening date for the new Guildhall Hotel is December 2017.