Batcombe Village Hall




History

The village of Batcombe has a long history that goes back to Saxon times. It became rich in the 14th century due to the woollen trade and it was during this time that the very fine Parish Church of St Mary the Blessed Virgin was built to replace the earlier structure. It boasts a fine tower which affords splendid views of the beautiful valley in which Batcombe nestles.

Local Mendip limestone has historically been used to construct the local cottages and houses, many of which date from the 17th and 18th centuries.

The Old School building dates back to its foundation as a Charity School in 1842 and was subsequently enlarged in 1887. It was one of the first schools to be built for village children who were out of reach of towns and cities. It remained a place of education for the children of the parish of Batcombe until the mid-1960’s when a new school was built in the neighbouring village of Upton Noble, to which Batcombe children from then on had to travel. After a period of disuse, it was saved from development by being bought by the Village Hall Trust in 1992, completely restored retaining original features, and reopened as a community facility in 1999.

The original Batcombe Village Hall was built on the present site in 1934, being a wooden building on stone foundations costing £375. Its modest size and construction was determined by the limited funding that could be provided by the village people in the inter-war years. During World War II t was requisitioned by the army and used as a dining hall, recreation centre and canteen (including for American troops stationed nearby) It was returned to the village in 1946.

Due to the toll of the elements on the old original Hall it was decided by the village hall committee of the time that a new building would be needed. Consequently the old building was demolished and work started on the new Hall in 2001.


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