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Historic Bristol ceiling ripped out by developers days before being considered for listed status

Parts of the ceiling remain although it has mostly been removed. Photo: Paul Smith

The interior of an historic Bristol building has been ripped out a day before it was to be considered for protected status.

The ceiling of the 400-year old town house on Small Street was due to be inspected by Historic England who may have given the building listed status.

A developer is planning to convert the building into student flats and Bristol City Council is considering its application.

The ceiling was described as 'important' by Historic England. Credit: Paul Smith

Because the building had not been listed yet it is legal for the company to demolish the ceiling.

Historic England says it is 'saddened' by events at Small Street.

Historic England received an urgent listing application for 15 Small Street, Bristol last week.

We understand a significant amount of the elaborate Jacobean ceiling was deliberately removed and destroyed yesterday (30 August), before we were able to see inside the building.

We are continuing with the listing assessment but are saddened that this important 400-year-old feature has been lost for future generations.

– Historic England

MP for Bristol West Thangam Debbonaire also reacted angrily to the news.

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The Labour MP then pointed out that there are multiple development companies which share the name Midas.

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The developers who have submitted a planning application are GE Midas Property Services run by Giuseppe Baio who are based on Whiteladies Road in Clifton.

The ceiling has been gutted by developers. Credit: Paul Smith

Bristol’s Civic Society say the decision to rip out the ceiling is "deplorable".

Developers have done nothing illegal here but it’s deplorable that such a historic building has had its interior ripped out. It’s very sad for Bristol that the protection wasn’t in place. I find it amazing that developers do this, because you’d think it would enhance the value of the building itself.

– Simon Birch, chair of Bristol Civic Society

The building is in a Conservation Area which means developers cannot alter the exterior of the building if it makes it stand out from its surroundings.