St John’s Hall in Penzance is a 2,000m² Grade II listed building built from Lamorna granite in 1867. It is the largest granite building in the country - in fact the top step is one of the largest pieces of granite ever quarried.
Although it was home to the Town Council, Citizen’s Advice Bureau, Cornish Community Banking and the Farmers’ Market, St John’s Hall hadn’t been used to its full potential for many years.
In 2013 the go ahead was given for a £5.6 million refurbishment programme; creating jobs and safeguarding the library service.
Plans included extending the existing external steps to accommodate the lowering of the ground level and creating a new main entrance providing level and equal access and improved accessibility for everyone.
In order to retain the original look of the Grade II listed building, arrangements were made to save granite removed during building work and use it to cover new concrete blockwork.
Interesting fact: When excavating began, it was discovered that the existing forecourt had been laid on top of soil. This was removed so that proper foundations could be laid.