Wessex Sound Studios
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Wessex Sound Studios was a recording studio located in Highbury New Park, London, England. Many renowned popular music artists recorded there, including Sex Pistols, King Crimson, the Clash, Theatre of Hate, XTC, the Sinceros, Queen, Talk Talk, the Rolling Stones, Pete Townshend and The Damned . The property was sold to a residential development company in 2003.
The building that would become Wessex Studios was built in 1881 as a church hall of St. Augustine's Church, located in Highbury, London. Like other buildings of the Victorian era, it featured Gothic design.
From 1946 to 1949 the hall was the home of the Rank Organisation's 'Company of Youth' - more popularly known as the 'Rank Charm School' - where future stars of British films, such as Diana Dors, Chirstopher Lee, Barbara Murray and Pete Murray, were tutored and paid about £10/week. Rank had a film studio in the former Highbury Athenaeum building up the road at 96a Highbury Park where supporting features (B-movies) were made. That too was closed in 1949.
In the 1960s, the Thompson family converted the church hall into a recording studio. They named it Wessex because their previous recording studio had been located in what was historically the kingdom of Wessex. Les Reed, songwriter of "There's a Kind of Hush" etc. with Barry Mason, the Beatles, bought the building in 1965. In 1975, Chrysalis bought Wessex Studios and George Martin's AIR Studios; Martin became a director of the company. Later purchased by Nigel Frida to become part of the Matrix Recording studios Group in the 1980’s, one of the largest independent recording studio complexes in the UK with 5 facilities across London. In 2003, Neptune Group bought the building and later converted it into a residential development known as "The Recording Studio", comprising eight apartments and a townhouse.
- Good vibrations - Property, House & Home - The Independent at money.independent.co.uk
- The Bill Price Interview at mixonline.com
- Islington - Churches | British History Online at www.British-history.ac.uk
- Neptune Group - Current owner of the building
- St. Augustine's Church - The church in front of the building