A church in Bristol-England, ‘St Michael on the Mount Without’ caught fire in October 2016….it took fifteen fire engines to put out the fire. A year later, the building was put up for sale and was purchased by a local businessman; Norman Routledge.
Norman Routledge bought the property and began renovations on it. He estimated a budget of £350,000, but he’s ended up spending much more.
“We’ve at least spent twice as much as that and we still probably have another £100,000 to go which is painful, because that wasn’t the plan. But hopefully it will be worth it, it’s a beautiful building,” Norman said.
The renovations stopped for a while due to the pandemic, and incurred extra costs upon resumption.
And aside the extra expenses, Norman has also encountered an architectural difficulty of building a staircase between the main body of the church and the crypt. The entire roof had to be changed, but he kept several of the building’s original features including its stained glass windows that were unaffected by the fire.
But Norman Routledge says he feels “lucky” to be the custodian and is looking forward to it finally opening next month, as he plans to use the building for a wedding and entertainment venue.
“In five or six weeks, we will be opening and we have a wedding booked so we’ll have our first big event in here which we’re looking forward to,” he said.
The edifice will also house a local dance troupe and will generate revenue through events. The building is being brushed with final preparations and finishing touches, as it is expected to begin operations once the final lockdown is lifted.
Racheal Niza-Val is a Nigerian writer and author. She seeks to use her pen to do only three things. Entertain, Educate, and Enthrall.