Information about the Colston Hall can be found on the Places to Live and Enjoy - Venues ICT in the Places Gallery.
The Colston Hall is a concert hall and Grade II listed building. Colston Hall has been the name given to the four buildings which have occupied the site on Colston Street since the 1860s.
In the Thirteenth Century, the site was occupied by a 13th Century Carmelite Friary (built around 1256) known as Whitefriars. The Friary would, at the time, have overlooked the River Frome. After the Dissolution of The Monasteries in the 1530s, a Tudor-era mansion known as the Great House occupied the site, which was built by John Young, a local merchant who had acquired the site in 1536. It overlooked the quay and was used by Queen Elizabeth I during her 1574 visit to the city.
In 1707 Edward Colston established the Colston Boys School in the same building.
In 1861, the site was acquired by the Colston Hall Company, and a new building - in the Bristol Byzantine style by the prolific Bristol architects Foster & Wood - was opened as a concert venue on 20 September 1861.
On 1 September 1898 a fire damaged most of the building and destroyed the interior. The second hall opened in 1901 and in 1919, the Corporation of Bristol purchased the building from the Colston Hall Company.
The second hall closed for remodelling in 1935 and a third hall opened in 1936. Although this hall survived the Second World War, it burned down in 1945 in a fire triggered by a discarded cigarette.
A fourth hall was built which opened in 1951 to mark the Festival of Britain.
From 2007 to 2009 a new foyer, topped by a wind turbine, was built alongside the fourth hall. Colston House, a 1930s Art Deco building (it was formerly Radiant House, headquarters of The Bristol Gas Company from 1935), was demolished to make this possible. This construction allowed the old bar area, previously known as the 'little threatre' or the 'lesser Colston Hall' to revert to bring a performance space now known as 'The Lantern'. Archaeologists found the remains of ancient walls believed to have been from the Friary, and decorative 13th Century floor tiles depicting Richard I and Saladin.
The venue's link to Edward Colston, whose wealth came in large part from the Transatlantic Slave Trade, has become a point of controversy, with campaigners, many from Bristol's African Carribean Community, calling for the venue's name to be changed. The Bristol band Massive Attack have vowed not to play the venue while it retains the Colston name.