The concert hall that hosted Ed Sheeran’s performance has been granted listing status

A concert hall which was opened by the Queen and hosted a performance by Ed Sheeran has been granted listing status.

Snape Maltings Concert Hall on the bank of the River Alde is close to Sheeran’s home in Suffolk and was chosen by the singer-songwriter as the venue for his Radio 1 Big Weekend gig last year .

The 31-year-old described the concert hall as a “beautiful setting”.

Snape Maltings Concert Hall was opened by the Queen in 1967.

Snape Maltings Concert Hall in Suffolk (Stella Fitzgerald/Historic England Archive/PA)

Just two years later a fire reduced it to a shell, but thanks to an appeal for funds it was restored and reopened in 1970.

It is home to the Aldeburgh Festival, now in its 73rd year.

This year’s festival, a 24-day celebration of music and the arts, begins on Friday.

The Snape Maltings site was bought in 1841 by businessman Newson Garrett.

By 1844 he had established large warehouses and an extensive malting operation at Snape and was sending 17,000 pints of barley a year to brewers in London and Newcastle.

Ed Sheeran performed at Snape Maltings Concert Hall in 2021 for Radio 1 Big Weekend.  (Victoria Jones/ PA)
Ed Sheeran performed at Snape Maltings Concert Hall in 2021 for Radio 1 Big Weekend (Victoria Jones/PA)

The new buildings erected between about 1846 and 1859 were designed by Mr Garrett and constructed using red and white bricks from his own brickworks in Aldeburgh.

The site declined after the Second World War and was put up for sale in 1965.

The largest of the old maltings was acquired and turned into a concert hall by the Aldeburgh Festival, founded in 1948 by composer Benjamin Britten, singer Peter Pears and opera librettist and theater director Eric Crozier.

Snape Maltings, owned and run by music, arts and heritage charity Britten Pears Arts, is now also home to independent shops, art galleries and cafes.

Snape Maltings Concert Hall has been newly listed as Grade II* by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) on advice from Historic England.

Buildings at the Snape Maltings complex on the bank of the River Alde in Suffolk.  (Stella Fitzgerald/Historic England Archive/PA)
Buildings at the Snape Maltings complex, on the bank of the River Alde in Suffolk (Stella Fitzgerald/Historic England Archive/PA)

Other buildings on the site are now Grade II listed – the Britten Pears building and former revolving gallery, and the former granaries.

Historic England has also added additional information to existing listing entries for Snape Maltings and Snape Bridge House, which are both listed at Tier II.

Heritage Minister Nigel Huddleston said: “The historic Snape Maltings has become a treasured asset to its community after being transformed into a popular concert hall and tourist attraction.

“I am delighted that its uniqueness is protected for future generations to enjoy.”

Harry Young, Chief Operating Officer of Britten Pears Arts, said: “We are delighted that the site’s listing status has been updated and Snape Maltings Concert Hall has been listed as Grade II* in recognition of its importance and national importance.

“We consider it an immense privilege to be stewards of this special site, always guided by the vision of our founders Benjamin Britten and Peter Pears.”

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