the history of our building:
The Old Town Hall at Corfe Castle was passed to the Town Trust in 1888 and at that time was already more than 200 years old. The ground floor was built from secondary use of stone from the castle after it was destroyed during the Civil War.
The single story thatched building was destroyed by fire in about 1680 and the present two story structure dates from the early 18th Century when it was the seat of the Mayor and Barons of the Ancient Borough of Corfe Castle with its Charter dating back to Queen Elizabeth I.
The building is described in Hutchins as a ‘Little Gem’ and is Listed as Grade 2*. Given that the floor area of the Council Chamber is only 350 square feet it claims to be the smallest Town Hall in England.
keeping the building alive for future generations:
In 2002 the Trustees were concerned at the condition of the building and commissioned a full survey which revealed serious structural faults arising from inappropriate patch maintenance over the last 50 years. Unchecked the building would become unsafe and it became necessary to launch an appeal to raise the £100,000 needed to both repair the building and to upgrade the facilities for the 21st Century and beyond.
Jon Snow the Channel 4 News Presenter very kindly agreed to front the Appeal.
We received major awards from SITA, DEFRA, The Pilgrim Trust and Corfe Charity which together contributed half the total required. The village raised the remaining amount over a period of three years and once our target had been achieved, work to restore the building began in September 2005.
The work was completed by the end of January 2006 allowing the fitting out and upgrade of facilities to be finished by Easter 2006.