History of Messing Village Hall

The village hall, (a Grade 2 listed building) has been at the centre of village life for many years. It was built as an alms house in 1748 by Edward Luckyn of Messing Hall and consisted of four dwellings. The original building was rectangular and of handsome red brick with three street windows and one rear window, all set in elegant stone surrounds. There were two doors of similar design that have now been bricked up.

In 1799 the alms house was converted into a workhouse and at the same time one rood of Magdalene Court, a piece of land adjacent to the hall, was let to the parish. This is now the children’s play area.

The workhouse remained in use until 1836 when it was no longer considered necessary. The building was converted into two cottages, one at each end, and two School Rooms in the centre, the upper part for girls and the lower for boys.

In the 1870s one of the cottages, originally occupied by the headmaster, was converted to a post office and then it reverted to domestic use and is still a private home today.

In 1911 the Board of Education, against the wishes of the village, decided that a new school should be built and the vacant old school building was made available to the residents of Messing for use as a village hall.

 In 1956 the building was extended at the rear and domestic facilities added.

In 2011 the hall celebrated it’s centenary by adding another extension and undergoing an extensive refurbishment of the interior. The management committee used this opportunity to research ways of reducing the carbon footprint of the hall to as little as possible and an air source heat pump and solar panels were installed We are proud of our innovative approach and the resulting reduction in our heating costs and beneficial effect on the environment.

 

In January 2015, the deteriorating fifty-eight-year-old roof was reclad.  This was funded by Messing residents and grants from Essex Environment Trust and The Fowler Smith and Jones Trust without which it would not have been possible and we also received valuable support and advice from Essex Rural Community Council.