Harberton Parish Hall - History

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The first hall in Harberton, now the residential property "The Old Hall", was located in Fore Street and remained in operation until the 1950s(??). The Constitutional Club was built in Tristford Road in 1923, and comprised snooker room and bar downstairs, a function room upstairs, and steward's accommodation. The Club closed in 1990(??) prior to residential development of the entire building, which is now three separate dwellings.

At this time the previous owner of the Club gave the Parish additional land behind the Club to extend the existing Playing Field and to accommodate a new village hall, if one was wanted.
Indeed it was! A small, dedicated band of villagers then set about the enormous task of organising fundraising, employing every means from coffee mornings and jumble sales to all manner of grant applications and personal interest-free loans.

Finally sufficient money had been raised and pledged to enable construction of the new Harberton Parish Hall. The first task was to pull the entire hedge bank back away from the road to improve visibility, and to create a vehicle entrance splay.

To satisfy planning requirements and minimise its visual impact, the new hall building needed to be set down as deeply as possible behind the hedge. So a major programme of excavation and earthworks was undertaken. Essentially, a large hole had to be dug for the Hall, and the decision was taken to carry out major levelling of the new enlarged Playing Field at the same time. The topsoil was stripped from most of the ??-acre site, creating "Mount Harberton" at the western end of the Field, which offered unique new views of the village for a short period. Tons of shellit were excavated from the Hall site and from the north-west (top) corner of the Field, and laid down in layers to create a good-sized level Playing Field. The topsoil was then replaced and grass seed eventually sown in May 1996.

Construction of the new Parish Hall started in early October 1995 and was "completed" for the official opening by Lord and Lady Harberton on 4 June 1996.