The Heritage Centre

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Photo credit: Baz Richardson

THE HERITAGE CENTRE, BRIXWORTH

Situated in Church Street, next to The Market Cross and wooden Stocks, this stone building, once known as the Thomas Roe Charity Building, stands on the original Village Green, close to the Saxon Church in the older part of the village.  It was constructed in 1811 as the first purpose-built charity school and has been an integral part of village life for many years.  Land was bequeathed by a local Landowner to be kept in Trust specifically for the education of poor children. Initially just 20 children attended the school from both Brixworth and Scaldwell.

As the village population grew a larger school was constructed across the road and the Roe Charity building given over to other uses.  In 1940 the school was rented by Northamptonshire County Council as an extra school room to accommodate the many evacuees staying in the village during the war.  After the war it was used by Northamptonshire Association of Boys Clubs, then by 1956 the village Scout group used it as their ‘Scout Hut’.

The building eventually fell vacant and the fabric began to decline. The Friends of Brixworth Church offered to buy the building from the Roe Charity Trust and, after obtaining ‘change of use’, the sale of the building was completed and work to renovate it began in March 1994.

Over a period of sixteen months many volunteers gave up their time, mainly at weekends, to strip back the building to four walls and then piece it back together into a purposeful village amenity for use by All Saints’ Church and the village community.  Fundraising events continued throughout the time of renovation to enable the Friends to pay for materials and complete the project.

All Saints’ Church Heritage Centre was officially opened on 3rd June 1995 by The Lord Lieutenant, Mr John Lowther and blessed by the Rt. Reverend Paul Barber, Bishop of Brixworth.

Since that time work has continued by The Friends to maintain the building and ensure its future use. Improvements have also been made for the comfort and convenience of its users.

FACILITIES AND HIRE

The Heritage Centre can be hired for activities and functions and is suitable for smaller groups i.e. club meetings, a wake or christening party, business meetings, private exhibitions etc.  There is the capacity for seating around tables for a total of 28 people – 16 on the lower floor and 12 on the mezzanine floor up a flight of stairs. The folding tables can be cleared away so the room can be opened up and used for talks, training or exhibitions (display boards are available). There are two toilets, one has disabled access and facilities. A kitchen area enables you to make your own refreshments or these can be provided by prior arrangement. The building is accessible to wheelchair users and is heated in the winter months.

Please contact Tony on brixworthchurchfriends@gmail.com or 01604 880941 for further details of hourly rates and availability.

BRIXWORTH HISTORY SOCIETY

The Friends are fortunate to have a very active History Society within the village whose Archivists prepare various interesting and informative displays and artefacts in the Heritage Centre for visitors to see. These cover Brixworth life, past and present, plus the history of All Saints’ Church.

VISITORS ARE WELCOME

The Heritage Centre is open to visitors from May through to the end of September on a Saturday and Sunday afternoon from 2.30pm to 5.00pm. Other times by arrangement. Refreshments are available. We look forward to seeing you.

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