Wilton's Music Hall is one of London's few remaining music halls and given that it's about 156 years old, it was definitely due a bit of TLC. Over the last four years it's been undergoing a revamp that cost nearly £4 million, funded mostly by the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Sita landfill trust. Although it was never completely closed during the refurbishment, the venue is now fully reopen and it's looking pretty damn sweet.
Now a Grade-II* listed building, the venue started off as four houses and a pub back in 1690, but fast forward to 1858 and pub landlord-come-entrepeneur John Wilton stepped in to bring some culture to the place, building the auditorium. 30 years later, it was bought by a Methodist missionary in 1888, putting a stop to the live music, boozing and general debauchery it was famed for. After the Methodists left, the building managed to escape demolition in the 1960s and secure its status as a Grade-II* listed building and it finally reopened as a concert hall in 1997.
Following four years of renovation, its once crumbling walls and leaky ceilings are no more – and more than 40 percent of the building will be opened up to the public for the first time.
The venue has now been kitted out with a new rehearsal space, an exhibition room, a prop-making workshop, a kitchen, offices, dressing rooms and a new bar. But it wasn't all out with the old and in with the new, as the architects have preserved as much as possible, including broken fireplaces, Georgian brickwork and even abandoned birds' nests.
With the whole building back in action and loads more space to play with, Wilton's Music Hall is launching a new artistic season, which will be packed out with loads of theatre, dance, opera and family events. And if you just fancy having a nose around the building, it'll be taking part in Open House London on September 19, so you can check out its swanky new look.
Find out more about Wilton's Music Hall and take a look at some more pictures of the revamped venue:
Wilton's Music Hall, 1 Graces Alley, E1 8JB.
Looking for more cultural things to do? An exhibition of London-inspired artwork is coming to Shoreditch.
Or read about the London Transport Museum's new exhibition on 24-hour London.
Images: Helene Binet