Commercial Focus - 04 December 2014
Bristol’s spectacular, dilapidated old General Hospital – a striking Victorian pile shut for a number of years, and recently used to film the TV series Being Human – is about to enjoy a new lease on life…
Sometimes you come across a new development that seems to have everything - both a great location and a spectacular original building to convert – and so it is with the General, an outstanding mix of restored and new-build homes occupying the old 1850s Bristol General Hospital in the heart of the very much up-and-coming Redcliffe area, slap bang on the waterfront on the southside of the River Avon.
The General is actually the first major development in the South-West from City & Country, the multi-award winning family owned heritage developer – they’re close associates of English Heritage, and a benefactor of the Prince’s Regeneration Trust – who’ll be offering a selection of stylish one, two and three bedroom apartments, plus some commercial units.
True Beauty Revealed
“We’re delighted that our first major project in the South West is in this vibrant city,” says an excited Helen Moore, managing director of City & Country. “The General is a wonderful building which boasts a fantastic waterfront location, and we are looking forward to delivering a range of outstanding restoration and new build homes here. The first stage of the process – the demolition of some unsightly modern additions – is almost complete and, when restored, this will allow the true beauty of The General to be revealed.”
Indeed, though the General’s imposing, Grade II listed frontage sits right on the quayside, the site actually covers almost three acres to the rear too, the main building being backed up by a former lodge, a chapel, the external Ogee Dome and, until recently, even a mortuary – though this has now been knocked down, along with the old laundry room and other minor structures/ One of the most exciting parts of the whole thing is the restoration of the Dome and its neighbouring mansard roofs, wrecked by an incendiary bomb during World War II. City & Country have always been keen on retaining classic period features, and if there are a number of original fireplaces, roof lights, lanterns and stone vaulted ceilings here, plus the original Victorian timber framed arched windows, all being restored to their former glory.
Period features restored
Outside, the hospital’s original external stone fountain, now dilapidated and worn, will be relocated to its original position in the central courtyard and restored to full working condition, whilst an underground car park is also being created – under the corner of Commercial Road and Lower Guinea Street - to offer around 115 spaces, in some places as much as 12 metres below existing ground levels.
They’ve been working on the site since late 2013, with Phase One of the main construction work now well underway. The sales suite will be opening in September 2014, the first apartments and show homes will be available to view and buy from early 2015, and the whole thing should be finished by November 2017. George Cardale of Savills, the sales agents, reckons that The General is sure to “breathe new life into this important heritage asset,” and you know what? We find it hard to disagree.
« Back to What the Papers Say