2019 has been an important year for the hall as it has seen the culmination of the Place House Project to ‘Improve this Important Community Building by Increasing the Hire Space and Enhancing the Heritage Offering’.
In addition, internal and external redecoration has been undertaken and repointing the paving in the garden. The hall and garden are now in very fine order.
Richard Threlfall as architect, redesigned the area at the rear of the building. Work was contracted to Pyrmont Build to remove the 1970’s toilet area and install four new individual cubicles, one being for disabled and baby changing.
Space was made to create a much needed storage area and a ramp installed for full disabled access. The interior of the main hall has been newly decorated, the floor cleaned and varnished and the ancient timber work treated with linseed.
The small side room renamed The Parlour has been cleared of storage enabling extra space for hirers and HBPT events. Fine timber floor boards were uncovered and restored and old school boy graffiti from Christ’s Hospital days was revealed when preparing the 17th century panelling for repainting. Two exciting finds that add to our knowledge of Place House!
Five information panels have been designed and installed to help illustrate the long history of this ancient building and a museum style kiosk will be installed to give more information and provide interactive learning for children. Work is also underway to create an educational pack for schools and youth groups which will be ready in 2020.
For this major project, funding was sought and over £50,000 raised! We are immensely grateful to all those who made grants and donations:
Hertfordshire County Council (opens in a new window) – Locality budget Cllr David Andrews and Cllr Richard Thake
The HBPT has maintained its commitment to opening the Hall to the public as frequently as possible. Place House Hall has a website, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts to enable events to be publicised widely and is now receiving positive reviews on TripAdvisor and Google. Private hiring’s at the Hall continue to increase which gives the HBPT much needed revenue to help towards the upkeep of this important Grade 1 listed building!