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Tadmarton Village Hall History


The building was originally the Village Church School.  There was a school on this site in 1808 which was rebuilt many times lastly in 1875 to accommodate 84 children.  In 1962 the school had a roll of only 36. in 1971 the school which was owned by the Diocesan Trustees (Oxford) was closed , and on closure was offered to the Tadmarton Parochial Church Council for £3,500.The PCC declined the offer on the grounds that St Nicholas Church already cost a great deal to maintain, and they did not wish to take on the added burden of the 'Old School'. At this point in 1973, Muriel Overfield, and Catherine Tinker and others formed a committee and took up the challenge of acquiring the school building as a Village Hall . Firstly they tried to purchase it from the Diocesan Trustees on similar terms that had been offered to the PCC, but this was rejected. This meant that the school was likely to be put up for auction.

Outline planning applications were submitted to convert the building for residential use, these failed and Muriel started researching the history of the ownership of the plot of land on which the school had been built.


The original school was a smaller thatched roofed building that had needed extending and rebuilding in 1875 . At this time the Diocesan Trustees were given a plot of adjoining land from George Denham-Cookes on the condition that it reverted to him and his heirs should the property cease to be used as a school. George Denham-Cookes died in 1897 and after several trips to Somerset House, and visits to the original solicitors, Muriel then set about verifying a line of succession to a living heir. After extensive negotiation she managed to agree a price to buy this small section from him.


Next they needed to establish the history and ownership of the playground. By talking to the older members of the village it became clear that there was no playground originally and in fact the children played in the road -someone was actually run over. By checking the school rolls it was found that the school playground had only existed from 1923 Further investigation confirmed that the playground was created in 1923 on ground purchased from Captain Evered for £40 by the Rector, the Rev Riddle who then set up the Tadmarton Playground Trust whose Trustees could only be appointed by himself and future Rectors of Tadmarton. The land to be for the use of village children. This meant that the Diocesan Trustees could not include the playground in the auction of the school and in fact they only owned part of the land on which the school was built. So the prospect of planning permission for residential use was unlikely.




To cut a very long story short, in 1979 Muriel and co. approached the current Rector, the Rev T Wimbush to purchase the playground and acquired it for £525. They then approached the Denham-Cookes family and purchased for £900[1] the section of land on which the school extension was built and negotiated the purchase of the remaining part of the school from the Diocesan Trustees for £2,100[2]. A total of £3,525.


On 13 October 1979, The Deed constituting the Tadmarton Village Hall Trust was signed. It stated that the property held, should be used for the purposes of a Village Hall for the use of the inhabitants of the Parish of Tadmarton.




In 1980 Grants were successfully applied for from Oxford CC, Cherwell DC and Tadmarton PC. Messengers(the builders) were engaged to carry out the work necessary to change the school building, into a village hall and establish a playground and car park.




In 1994 under the terms of the Trust Deed,[3] the Tadmarton Village Hall Trust comprising the 3 pieces of land were vested in the hands of the Official Custodian for Charities[4], this saved further legal expenses of making new deeds when original 'holding' trustees changed or were are no longer involved with the Charity.



  1. Click to see the Conveyance Denham-Cookes and Tadmarton Village Hall Trust

  2. Click to see the Conveyance Diocesan Trustees and Tadmarton Village Hall Trust

  3. Click to see the Trust DocumentTadmarton Village Hall Trust a registered charity number 28625

  4. Click to see the Sealed document Official Custodian of Charities




In 1996 the land behind the village hall was completely transformed, by resurfacing the playground and fencing it off from the car parking area. In 1997 the whole of the playground had to be netted to stop balls being kicked into adjoining properties and onto the road.




In 2003 in order to comply with Health and Safety Regulations it was decided to embark on a 5 year project to improve the facilities in the hall, by the following:


  • To bring the playground up to ROSPA standard, which is checked every year,

  • To provide wheelchair access and an accessible toilet facility,

  • To replace the storage that had been lost, by an Annexe that could be accessed separately from the

  • main hall and could be let as a small committee room.

  • To renovate the kitchen, replacing all cupboards, sinks and work surfaces and installing a 'fridge.

  • To redecrate the main hall, replace light fittings and the installation of a new loudspeaker


The estimated costs of all this work were £118,000. This vast sum was raised by grants from South East England Development Agency, Cherwell District Council and Trust for Oxfordshire Environment Lt. leaving £23,000 to be raised by fundraising by the Village Hall Trust




In 2007 the new wheelchair access etc. was completed and Mr Tony Baldry MP officially opened the new Annexe. In 2008 the kitchen was completed and in 2009 the toilets and main hall were completely refurbished.


We now have a Village Hall to be proud of, which is let most days of the week for village clubs and societies, click link for Letting Rates for Tadmarton Village Hall


Click on British History OnLine and scroll down to schools for more on the history of the 3 schools in Tadmarton in 1808 


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