History of Warehorne
The first recorded mention of Warehorne is in an Anglo-Saxon charter of Ecgberht, King of Wessex of 820 AD, where it is called Werehornas.
The Domesday Book of 1086 mentions Warehorne by name and states that a church existed there. The present church (St Matthews) shows no sign of Saxon or of Norman work.
Warehorne was also where Reverend Richard Harris Barham, the author of The Ingoldsby Legends, resided for a short while.
The Woolpack Inn
Royal Military Canal
Bridge over the Royal Military Canal at Warehorne
Bells at St Matthews
|Bell ||Weight ||Diameter ||Note ||Date ||Founder|
|Tenor ||9-2-8 ||39 ||G ||1721 ||John Waylett, Cripplegate|
|5 ||7-3-12 ||36 1/2 ||A ||1913 ||Alfred Bowell, Ipswich|
|4 ||6-2-12 ||32 1/5 ||B ||1913 ||Alfred Bowell, Ipswich|
|3||5-2-8||31 1/5 ||C||1721||John Waylett, Cripplegate|
|2||4-3-0||29 ||D||1721||John Waylett, Cripplegate|
|Treble||4-0-18||27 ||E||1936||Alfred Bowell, Cripplegate|
|1552 ||Record of 4 bells in the tower.|
|1721 ||Bells 1, 2, 3 and 5 (of 5) recast by John Waylett who rehung the bells in a new timber frame.|
|1723 ||4th of (5) recast by John Waylett.|
|1776 ||Present tower built.|
|1779||Record of 5 bells in the tower.|
|1913||3 and 4 (of 5) recast by Alfred Bowell and the remainder rehung.|
To recasting the 3rd and 4th bells and rehanging the peal of five. To repairing the floor underthe bells and strengthening the framework £74. Paid cq. 19 Mar 1913. (Bowell records, 7 Mar 1913)
|1936||A treble was added to make 6, by Alfred Bowell.|
7 July 1936: To supplying new treble bell complete as per contract £60. To 2 best bell ropes @22/-, £2-4-0. Total £62-4-0. Paid cq. on a/c £32-4-0, 7 July 1936. cq. £30, 10 Aug 1936. 1936 10 July:To 13 handbells £4. Paid by cq. 28 Aug 1936. (Bowell records)
The age of Warehorne Village Hall is undetermined. It started life as a Young Man’s Christian Association (YMCA) hut on the Romney Marsh at Lydd and was dismantled and re-erected in Warehorne soon after the First World War (1914-1918). It was initially used as a ‘Red Triangle Club’ for the benefit of Warehorne residents. The ‘red triangle’ was part of the YMCA logo and the hall’s use, at this stage, was still controlled by the YMCA.
On the 1st September 1949 the YMCA officially handed over the hall to the village of Warehorne through a Deed of Gift which transferred ownership and the administration of the hall to a Warehorne Village Hut Committee.
On the 18th June 1962 a Trust Deed was issued for the building to be held in trust for the “purposes of a village hall for the use of the inhabitants of Warehorne aforesaid and the neighbourhood(hereinafter called ‘the area of benefit’) without distinction of sex or of political religious or other opinions and in particular for use for meetings lectures and classes and for other forms of recreation and leisure time occupation with the object of improving the conditions of life for the said inhabitants”.
The Trust Deed created a charitable foundation and provided for the hall and a small area of land(~750 m2) to be administered by a Committee of Management (Warehorne Village Hall Committee).The Charity Register number is 302875.
The hall was extensively used in its early days as a meeting/ function hall for the various local clubs and groups – cricket, tennis, football, snooker, table tennis, church groups, chapel groups, Royal Observer Corps, Women’s Institute, Parish Council and Warehorne and Kenardington Horticultural Society. Unfortunately, over the years most of these groups have disappeared and only the Parish Council and Horticultural Society remain as regular users although some new groups have been formed (indoor bowls, Community choir, Jump!).
In its earlier days the hall was regularly used for dances and whist drives but gradually the hall events failed to compete with the alternative activities available and its limited facilities, particularly the kitchen and toilet areas, proved less of an attraction for event organisers and community groups. During the winter months the lack of adequate heating and insulation meant the hall would only be used by the very hardy. In addition the legal requirements for public buildings, such as the provision of disabled access, made the continued use of the hall questionable.
On two separate occasions (1990 and 2007) the issue of the hall closure has been publicly debated. On each occasion there has been an almost unanimous community support for the hall to be maintained. On the first occasion in 1990, although there was verbal support for maintaining the hall, it was not supported by any physical or financial support and the existing committee continued with the remit ‘to maintain the fabric of the hall for others’ rather than be proactive in organising events (AGM 15 Nov 1990).
On the second occasion, in June 2007, the existing Committee proposed a motion to close and dismantle the hall which was unanimously defeated at a fairly well attended public meeting. At this meeting the local community expressed its support for the hall by forming a totally new committee(following the unanimous resignation of the former committee) and committing financial support –over £1000 was eventually raised by public donation.
From this start, through fundraising, seeking grants, and the support of the community many improvements have been made to the hall. These improvements have included;
- improved disabled access arrangements,
- new toilet block including disabled access and baby changing facilities,
- improved kitchen facilities and refurbishment including storage freezers,
- internal refurbishment of the hall,
- double glazing and window blinds,
- new infra-red heating system with coin meters to re-coup some expenditure,
- loft insulation,
- improved water heating facilities,
- replacement of external asbestos sheeting with new cladding,
- additional wall insulation,
- brick external skirt to protect underside of hall
- new tables and chairs including children’s furniture,
- wall mirrors,
- new external storage arrangements,
- purchase of a marquee for external events
- purchase of event staging
Although the age of the hall remains undetermined it now provides a warm welcome to its hirers and users and is well equipped to meet the needs of the current community - hopefully for a long time to come.
New years party 1956 - Warehorne Village Hall