St George's Theatre

In 1711 the Borough of Great Yarmouth petitioned Parliament for an additional place of worship for the town. A site called 'The Mount' on King Street was selected and the large mound, on which defensive cannon had been placed in 1569, was levelled.

Commissioned in 1714 by the Borough Council the architects John Price of Richmond were instructed to model the church on St Clement Danes by Sir Christopher Wren. The result, a monumental baroque design which goes far beyond imitation of St Clements and is now recognised as one of the finest examples of Baroque Church architecture outside of London.

After its deconsecration in 1959, the chapel fell into disrepair, despite being listed Grade I in 1953. It is reported to have narrowly escaped demolition.

In the early 1970's a group of dedicated local people and amateur dramatic society The Masquers, worked very hard to establish redundant Chapel as a centre for the arts and a Theatre.
Many and various performances were given in the centre from the 1970's right up until 2006, with both local groups and professional companies.

In 2006 the building was forced to close due to severe structural defects, including an unstable tower. For the next 3 years it was fenced off and shrouded in scaffolding. Its deteriorating state resulted in the chapel being declared 'at risk' by English Heritage and the Local Authorities until funds were found in 2009 for its restoration and conversion

St George’s Church was erected in 1714 by the Corporation as a chapel-of-ease for St. Nicholas’s Church. The construction was paid for by a local coal tax. It was made redundant in the 1950’s and was found to be structurally unsound in 2006. A Georgian gem, Grade 1 listed, the church has been restored for use as a theatre. During restoration works, paint finishes of national historic importance on the internal pillars were discovered.

St George's – A Time Line

1714 - St Georges Chapel is constructed

1721 - the Chapel is completed

1734 - Organ at St. George's Chapel built by Richard Bridge and Abraham Jordan

1833 - Bishop of Norwich inspected the plate

1858 - Oct. 1st. Evening Service first held at St. George's Chapel after the gas was laid on

1953 – The Chapel is listed as Grade I

1959 – The Chapel is deconsecrated

1971 – The building is officially deemed as redundant

1972/3 – Converted into a theatre

1970-2006 - Performances from local groups and professional touring theatre, The Masquers established, Dragons Youth theatre established

2006 – Building closed

2009 – Funds secured for regeneration of Chapel and new build – The Pavilion

2010 – Building works begin

2012 – Building works in Chapel complete

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