Home Business Services S Nicholson & Sons returns Browns ‘opulent’ ceilings to Edwardian splendour

S Nicholson & Sons returns Browns ‘opulent’ ceilings to Edwardian splendour

Stephen Nicholson pictured during the work to restore the magnificent ceilings at Browns Brasserie & Bar

Bespoke painting and decorating service S Nicholson & Sons has restored the ceilings of one of the country’s most opulent buildings.

The Bishop Auckland company, which specialises in the restoration of heritage and listed buildings, has returned the exquisite ceilings and cornicing at Browns Brasserie & Bar in Manchester to its original Edwardian splendour.

It was contracted to carry out the work by Darlington-based Stone Technical Services Group, which itself cleaned and restored the external masonry and windows as part of a grand £700,000 refurbishment of the building.

Six members of the team spent three weeks painting the 12 ceilings, each measuring 30 sq. ft, in a traditional grey, while the decorative cornicing and ceiling ornaments were nicely contrasted with an off white.


The ceilings are now resplendent in the period colours in use when the baroque building, designed by Charles Heathcote, first opened as Parr’s Bank in 1901.

The interior – featuring mahogany panelling and green marble walls – was described by the respected architectural historian Pevsner as “amongst the most opulent of any of the date surviving in Manchester, and for that matter, in London.”

The Grade II* listed York Street building remains a popular destination due to its high ceilings and art nouveau features.

Stephen Nicholson said: “We are well known across the North East and North Yorkshire for our traditional skills and work with heritage buildings, but to be selected for this high-profile project is a real feather in our cap and an example of how our reputation is growing.

“Brown’s is a magnificent building with a stunning interior and our team was honoured to return its ceilings to their original look.

“The main challenge was the scale and intricacies of such high ceilings, particularly the cornicing detail, which required the use of specialist access equipment.”

Stone Technical Services Group, a specialist provider of heritage building restoration and conservation services has a long standing relationship with Mitchell and Butlers, which owns the Browns brand.

Managing director Richard Pavlou said: “We have worked with S Nicholson & Sons for a number of years on a variety of contracts, so we were happy to recommend them for a Mitchells & Butlers project and they are delighted with the result.”

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