The Hall and car park are owned by the Diocese of Peterborough and are designated as Glebe land. Sulgrave Parochial Church Council are the tenants.
Since the hall became a separate unit from the old Vicarage it was named as “the Parish Rooms”, but has become known more generally as the “Church Hall” and by many as the “Village Hall”. Importantly it is the only hall in the village available to hire at an affordable rate.
The Hall was originally part of the Vicarage. The Vicarage was built in C17/18 century and the Hall would date from possibly the latter part of C18. Use of the building is unknown until 1920’s when the vicar, Canon Pakenham Walsh, a much loved and revered figure, who lived in the Vicarage, used the hall as his meeting room with the villagers.
The Hall was subsequently used by his daughter during WW2 when she had the tennis courts dug up to grow vegetables and the Hall was used as her potting shed which was full of plants for about five to seven years. At the end of WW2, funds were raised for a village party to be held in the Hall for the returning troops.
At one time, the Hall was connected to the vicarage by a rather ram shackled wooden roofed construction that was demolished in the 1950’s and part of the Hall was used to garage a car.
After the war, the use of the Hall was then given to the villagers and rent was paid to the Peterborough Diocese and the Hall became known as the Parish Rooms.
During the 1950’s, the Hall underwent a major refurbishment by Messrs Wootton, Claridge, Lake and Nicholson. A concrete floor was laid, electricity installed and an extension built to house a kitchen and the fireplace removed.
During the 1970’s further work was done and a wooden floor was laid on wooden supports, which still in is existence today. Wall heaters were installed and the kitchen improved. All work and costs were met by the whole village, rather than the PCC and there has never been a particular time of day, week, month when the Hall has been reserved for Church use only.
When the route of HS2 was announced, the opportunity for community groups to bid for a sizeable grant owing to the proximity of the rail line to the village (and hence disturbance/ inconvenience), became available.
In 2017, Anna Faure and Ingram Lloyd used this opportunity to submit a bid on behalf of the PCC for renovation of the Hall. It took three years for all aspects of the project to be finalized and in July 2020 the contract with Groundwork/HS2 was signed and an award for £75k for the renovation of the Hall was granted.
Mach Solutions, a local construction company, with strong connections to the village was commissioned to do the work which started on June 15th 2021 and finished 19 October 2021.
The fundamental use / lettings of the Hall has not changed over the years. It is a community hall to be used for whatever purposes appropriate to suit the needs of the village and surrounding communities.
It has been their efforts and monies that have enabled the various historical renovations, and this is so today.
The extensive refurbishments in 2021 have been funded by an HS2 CEF £75k grant and have revitalised the building, creating much local interest and promises of future use.