St Michaels on the Mount, Bristol
St Michael the Archangel on the Mount Without was first constructed in 1193 and is now a Grade II* Listed building. The church was built outside the historic city walls, hence the suffix “Without”.
Thomas Paty, the Bristol Architect and mason, inspected the church in 1774 and recommended the body of the church be demolished with the exception of the tower as this had been repaired in 1749. The new nave was aligned with the existing tower, with a chancel and south and north aisles. The church was damaged in December 1940 as a result of a bombing raid during World War II. Shortly afterwards in March 1941 incendiary bombs caused further damage including the loss of parts of the roof. The roof was rebuilt with steel trusses and the barrel-vaulted ceiling was replaced with plaster on curved expanded metal sheets. The church was closed in 1999 and was declared redundant.
On 16 October 2016, following long-standing occupation of the building by squatters, a large fire broke out with the seat of the fire at both ends of the north aisle. Due to the location of the fires the north aisle was the most severely damaged. The roof covering and most of the rafters were destroyed, with all the substantial oak trusses severely charred. The fire spread into the roof of the nave and this roof was severely damaged beyond repair.
At his second attempt our client purchased the building in 2019. Later that year we obtained planning permission and listed building consent for a change of use from a place of worship to a performing arts and events space. This included extensive repairs, new roofs to the nave and north aisle, the installation of a sprung dance floor in the nave and the lowering of the floor to the crypt. The additional headroom created by the slow and painstaking lowering of the floor in the crypt transformed a barely useable claustrophobic space into a spacious and dramatic new area. We are continuing to work with our client to carry out further improvements and alterations to this very popular new venue.