St George’s Theatre
Gt Yarmouth

The Grade 1-listed St George's Chapel in Great Yarmouth was built in 1715, and modelled on the church of St Clement Danes in London designed by Sir Christopher Wren. After the church was declared redundant in 1971, the building became an arts centre before falling into disrepair and being declared unsafe.

The restoration of the chapel and its conversion into a fully-featured performance space formed the heart of a regeneration scheme which included the creation of a new pavilion and an outdoor performance area in the park alongside the chapel.

Our detailed survey of the historic building identified problems within the loadbearing timbers and structural masonry together with dampness to the internal and external fabric. Drawings and specification of repairs were prepared to restore the integrity of the building which included the re-introduction of traditional conservation materials to satisfy English Heritage requirements.

Sensitive in-situ repairs were proposed to the structural and decorative timbers to the lantern and bell chamber involving temporary support from a purpose designed scaffold, carefully sequenced to ensure structural stability was maintained. Structural repairs and strengthening were required to enhance the chapel for its change of use with building services carefully coordinated to minimise impact on the existing fabric.

SPAB principles were followed which included minimal intervention of the original fabric, reversible methods of repair, honest visible structural enhancements where needed with use of modern materials/techniques.

The project was awarded a National RIBA award and was shortlisted for the prestigious Stirling Prize.