A Village Hall of International Importance

The second of our Village Hall case studies looks at a Village Hall of International Importance, read on to find out more!

Sapperton is a village situated within the Cotswold District near Cirencester and while it is famous for its canal tunnel, which when built in 1789 was the longest tunnel of any kind in the UK, it is not for this reason that we feature this hall. Sapperton is also internationally known for its involvement in the Arts and Crafts Movement and this is why we are featuring the Village Hall.

The village is connected with three art and crafts designers who are known internationally and recognised as some of the most influential designers of the English Arts and Crafts Movement in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century.

Ernest Gimson and the Barnsley Brothers (Ernest and Sidney) lived in Sapperton for approximately 30 years and were furniture designers and architects. Gimson had a close friendship with William Morris and when he moved to Sapperton, he had a flourishing reputation and would continue his work in the Cotswolds. It was a similar story for the Barnsley Brothers who had become well-known and influential designers when they moved with Gimson to Sapperton.

It was Ernest Barnsley who was asked to design a building for use by the local community in 1912 as a gift to the village by Lady Bathurst This brings us to the Village Hall. Ernest Barsnley decided to build the hall on the grounds of his old Smithy that he had set up in 1903 and it still stands there today. The hall is Grade II listed and is a building that is of particular importance thanks to its involvement in the English Arts & Crafts movement.

The hall which was re-roofed in 2018 is an attractive, many-gabled, building, built of local stone. There is a good- sized hall with a stage, a billiard room, reading room and kitchen. It is a resource that the community continues to use. There are weekly activities including snooker and fitness and it is regularly used for plays and activities by the local primary school. The hall is available for hire for a reasonable price of £10 an hour and can be used for parties, group meetings, classes or events.

Sapperton Village Hall is being highlighted today as part of our lead up to the national Village Halls Week beginning January 20th in 2020! We want this to be the biggest celebration yet and by highlighting different village halls throughout the county we hope this will inspire others to showcase their buildings during the week. For more information, click here.