Published: 05:00, 08 November 2021
| Updated: 13:23, 08 November 2021
Restoration work costing £700,000 has been carried out on the ornate ceiling of one of the county's most impressive buildings housing a Wetherspoon pub.
The project on the dome of the listed ceiling at the Opera House in Tunbridge Wells will ensure it can be enjoyed for decades to come, managers say.
The building in Mount Pleasant Road was once an opera house, before being converted into a cinema in the 1930s. It became a pub in the 1990s.
The company is known for taking on often old but beautiful buildings and local landmarks and it invests heavily in their upkeep and preservation.
Wetherspoon’s property manager, Craig Beardmore, who was responsible for overseeing the project at Opera House, said: “Wetherspoon invests heavily in its historic buildings for future generations, almost providing a civic service and duty to ensure the upkeep of some incredible landmark premises.
“With all historical buildings, essential improvements are required to ensure that they never reach that critical stage.”
Ross Markwick, pub manager at Opera House, added: “Our pub is housed in a local historic landmark enjoyed by so many people and, as the current custodians, Wetherspoon is responsible to ensure its preservation for now and the future.
“This most recent investment, helping to keep this iconic building looking its best, highlights that commitment and we are proud to be a part of the Tunbridge Wells community at Opera House.”
In the Second World War the building's ceiling was damaged by a German incendiary bomb, as a Luftwaffe pilot dropped an unreleased bomb on the return journey back to Germany to conserve fuel. It left a hole in the roof and scorch marks, but did not explode.