lighting design
Southwell Minster
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Southwell Minster

Michael Grubb Studio provided lighting design for the restoration of the historic Archbishop’s Palace, adjacent to Southwell Minster.

The Palace dates from the 14th Century, although the surviving built part of the Palace – the Great Hall – was restored in the Edwardian era.

The most famous occupant was the all-powerful Cardinal Wolsey. It was in this room of the Palace that he would have held his last frantic meetings in 1530 to try and extricate himself from his failure to secure Henry VIII a divorce from Catherine of Aragon.  Equally, Charles Ӏ would have met his advisers here and following his capture in Southwell, his arrest was formalised here. The Palace is his first place of final imprisonment.


We worked with the project architect and the exhibition design team to develop a combined lighting solution that supported the narrative of the building whilst enhancing the historic architecture.

Protecting the fabric of this heritage monument was imperative. We developed a range of bespoke pendants that are clamped to the structure without any fixings or permanent markings.

Additional spotlights were then used to highlight surrounding artwork and key architectural features, such as the vaulted roof.

The lighting scheme included the Main Chamber, the Song School and the Grand Staircase. One of the key features of the scheme was the lighting control system, which allowed the various spaces to be transformed from wedding reception to performance space or exhibition center.


Client: Southwell Minster
Architect: Mark Goodwill Hodgson
Interpretation Design: Simon Leach Design
M&E Engineers: BCA
Lighting Design: Michael Grubb Studio
Images: Courtesy of Southwell Minster