Harvey Family Tree 2018-04-30

History of the Bristol Old Vic Theatre

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History of the Bristol Old Vic Theatre

The theatre is situated on King Street, a few yards from the Floating Harbour. Since 1972, the public entrance has been through the Coopers' Hall, the earliest surviving building on the site. The Coopers' Hall was built in 1744 for the Coopers' Company, the guild of coopers in Bristol, by architect William Halfpenny.[4] It has a "debased Palladian" façade with four Corinthian columns. It only remained in the hands of the Coopers until 1785, subsequently becoming a public assembly room, a wine warehouse, a Baptist chapel and eventually a fruit and vegetable warehouse.[5]

The theatre was built between 1764 and 1766.[3] The design of the auditorium has traditionally been taken to have been based, with some variations, on that of the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane in London.[6][7] Although Bristol architect Thomas Paty supervised construction, the theatre was built to designs by James Saunders, David Garrick's carpenter at Drury Lane.[8] Saunders had provided drawings for the theatre in Richmond, Surrey, built in 1765. A long section (1790, at Harvard University Theatre Collection) and a survey plan (1842, at the Local Studies Library) of the Richmond theatre show close similarities with the Bristol theatre in the proportions and in the relationship between the actors on stage and the spectators surrounding them on three sides.[9] The site chosen was Rackhay Yard, a roughly rectangular empty site behind a row of medieval houses and to one side of the Coopers' Hall. Two (and possibly three) new passageways built through the ground floor of the houses fronting King Street gave access to Rackhay Yard and the "New Theatre" inside it.[10]


Given names Surname Age Given names Surname Age Marriage Place Last change
Samuel Pode Cook
30Mary Ann Maggs
27158Coopers Hall, Bristol, Gloucestershire, England, United Kingdom5July 12, 2017 - 10:48:26 p.m.