Parish Hall Centenary


On a cold and miserable evening in mid-November it was splendid that 28 people came to a preliminary meeting in the Parish Hall to formulate plans to celebrate the centenary of the Parish Hall in December 1996. It was decided to form a Committee comprising representatives of Societies, Clubs and other organisations in the village to consider the form the celebrations should take. Many helpful suggestions were made, including:

  • mounting a display of treasures, maps, photographs, memorabilia and articles chronicling the life of the hall.
  • Individual society/school displays and sketches.
  • A Grand Quiz Evening covering the 100 years of the Hall’s life.
  • An Anniversary Dance/Firework Display.
  • Floral Event and
  • + many other ideas.

It may be of interest to quote briefly from the Records we have of the Parish Council 1894-1898 on the background to the history of the Hall.

The oldest document in the Archives of the Parish Council is an unsigned copy (date 28th May 1790) of a grant of land made by the Court of the Lords of the Manor of Barton, to Richard Goldfinch and others, in trust for the overseers of the Parish of Compton, for the purpose of erecting a Poorhouse. Richard Goldfinch did “fealty” for this. (It is of interest to note that the Goldfinch family lived in the Parish at Place House for 200 years, from the reign of Queen Elizabeth to the reign of Queen Victoria).

In 1894, at the first meeting of the newly-formed Parish Council, the condition of the Poorhouse was raised and a report as to necessary repairs was called for. At the second meeting on 4th February 1895 the Chairman reported that he had received a letter from the Ecclesiastical Commissioners in answer to a letter from the Council, regarding the terms on which they were prepared to enfranchise the Poorhouse and the ground on which it stood.

It was decided that the terms should be accepted, and at the Parish Meeting held in March this was agreed to. In December 1895 the Parish Council was asked to inform the Local Government Board to define the purpose for which the cottages and the land were to be used. To this the Parish Council replied that they wished to build a room for the Parish on the land to the rear of the cottages.

Then at last on 14th July 1896 the conveyance of land and cottages from the Ecclesiastical Commissioners to the Parish Council was duly executed.

We will keep you posted and updated through the magazine on ideas and suggestions we receive, but please do not hesitate to let us have your own ideas which we can progress and discuss with you.

Jean Millar