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Nevill Holt Hall
Image by Dave
Nevill Holt Hall

Architect: Witherford Watson Mann Architects

Client: Nevill Holt Opera

Project completion: 2018


The Nevill Holt stables block is a grade II* listed building that lies within the setting of the 13th Century Nevill Holt Hall. The stables are a rare survival of purpose built country estate courtyard provision. When the stables fell out of use they were adapted for school use before being used as a private residence. The owner established an annual summer opera festival, with a temporary theatre in the stables courtyard.  In 2015 David Bonnett was appointed as part of the design team commissioned to create a permanent 400-seat opera facility, dedicated to nurturing young talent.



Every effort was made to protect the historic significance of the building while ensuring that the theatre is welcoming to all.  Circulation at ground floor level is generally level with easy access to WCs and dressing rooms, as well as to the refreshment area – located at some distance from the theatre. Six adaptable wheelchair spaces are available at row 5 which has step free access from the aisles.  Advance booking allows for the spaces to be made available as necessary. Steps and handrails to the remaining seating are detailed to eliminate foot traps and tapered steps. Access to the stage is step-free to provide easy access for all performers.  The orchestra pit is sized to allow future fitting of a mechanical lift.  A lift is not provided to the gallery as all facilities are at ground level. Disabled parking is available or visitors can use the festival golf buggy to transfer from the festival gate to the theatre.

Shortlisted for the RIBA Stirling Prize 2019
RIBA East Midlands Award 2019
RIBA East Midlands Conservation Award 2019
RIBA East Midlands Building of the Year 2019 
RIBA National Award 2019

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Nevill Holt Hall
Image by Dave
Nevill Holt Hall
Image by Tim Heaton
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