The Village Hall

The building now known as Henbury Village Hall was originally constructed as a charity school for boys in 1624 and regulated by a trust deed dated 15th November 1624.

The school was established by a trust deed dated 15th November 1624 with funds bequeathed by Anthony Edmonds, a wealthy Bristol merchant To this day the hall remains in the ownership of the Anthony Edmonds Charity.

In common with many schools founded in the 16th and 17th century the original school was a Bluecoat school. The first Bluecoat school was Christ’s Hospital founded in the City of London in 1552 and led to similar schools being founded by merchants in other cities. Pupils at the school wore a Bluecoat uniform.

The school (the Village Hall as today) was almost entirely rebuilt in 1830 in the Tudor Gothic Revival style by Thomas Rickman, who was also responsible for major works to the adjacent parish church, St Mary’s Henbury. The building is constructed of coursed pennant rubble, The school was affected by a scheme made under the Endowed Schools Act of 1869 and amending Acts, anti was approved by Her Majesty Queen Victoria in Council on 20th October 1898.

The building remained in use as a boy’s school until 1954 after which it became the church hall. The church authorities were obliged to relinquish the building because they could not afford the cost of its upkeep.

The building was affected by the Charities Act of 1960 which stated that “The Charity an(l property thereof shall be administered andl managed upon the subsisting trusts…. under the title of The Anthony Edniunds Charity”.

In reaction to a suggestion that the building be demolished to make way for houses and following a public meeting the building became a Village Hall in 1979. A steering committee met on the 6th March 1979 at the Dower House. Henhury and an inaugural management Committee met on 28th May 1979. Today the hall is run on a day to day basis by the Henbury Village Hall Charity (registered charity No: 277693 under a lease from the Anthony Edmonds Charity.