History of the Hall

 

In 1842 a village primary school was built on a site in the centre of Westleton. The site was owned by a charitable foundation known as "Westleton Old National School" which was established in 1842 for the benefit on the parishes of Westleton and Middleton. In 1912 the trust deeds of the foundation were varied so it could lease the school to the local education authority and also run a Sunday school and use the building out of school hours for classes and lectures for adults and children.

So the hall has always had a charitable educational status and has long been used for wider community activities. The school served the community well for many years but by the mid 1960s the age profile of the people living in the village had changed and there were no longer enough children to sustain the school. The school was no longer viable and was closed in 1967.

A group, of local residents, under the leadership of Morgan Caines and with the support of the Westleton Women's Institute, decided to buy the school building to use as a village hall. Funding was raised by selling an existing, but inadequate, wooden Women's Institute hut and a small community "Gannon" Reading Room. In 1970 a charity was established to own and manage the hall on behalf of the local community.

Tourism is important locally and the hall is an important feature in the centre of the village. In order to retain the attractiveness of the village it is important that the hall building is maintained.